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January 15, 1956 - Image 4

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Poge Four

M HE M IC H IG AN D A ILY

C......-1.... 4 _ - - -- --- - t C t n r r

Sunday, January 15, 1956
AN EVERYDAY MONARCH
Government of the People, By the Monarch, For the People
Has Not Perished, According To This Writer

i

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Geoffey de r ' a T'
Deney, a graduate of St. Edmund The Constitutlonal and is
Hall, Oxford University, is now a
graduate law student at the Univer- Role ofthe C own
sity of Michigan-where he has pre-
served intact his national loyalties.) history, and no longer arouses that is the best method to carry
By GEOFFREY DE DENEY popular passions. on the country's government.
There may be rumours of who The power is prevented from be-
CONTRARY TO widespread pub- had the final word and which way ing exercised in an unduly arbi-
lic belief, the British mon- it went, but these remain rumours trary fashion by the fact that the
archy is not for show alone. There only, and even if made public are Cabinet is collectively responsible
seems to be a prevalent American unverified and unverifiable. Nor to Parliament, and in the event of
opinion of it as something out Of do the popular revelations of losing its majority they will be
light opera which serves to at- palace servants give an answer to forced either to reform its poli-
tract tourists and dollars, to sat- the questions of any but the most cies, to resign, or to "go to the
isfy sentimental English yearnings lowsly pryers into the affairs of country" by dissolving Parliment
for pageantry and the past, but others. and having a General Election.
which has no connection with lence it is only possible to as-
practical day to day affairs of Hs
government. seso the importance of the Royal
Wyh.avea onachaal, prerogative from what is known '
of its effect in the past and a#
am asked, Britain would get along k le f
m a edEcu inoul ne , onknowledge of constitutional con-
just as well without one? That
veintions;, isd further it is better
Britain could be governed with- to sketch in rather loosely the
out a monarchy is undoubtedly position of the monarch rather
true, but it is equally true that she than to attempt a delimitation of
manages incomparaby better with powers.
one. p
It must be realised that the IN THE United States there is a
British constitution is not just a written document known as a
republican one in form with the constitution containing precise de-
added luxury of a hereditary mon- tails of the requirements to be ob-
archy at the top, but is built served for its amendment. The
around the monarch without equivalent of this in Great Brit-
whom it would be meaningless and ain is the statement that the
unworkable. "Queen in Parliament is supreme."
This body, composed of the A
The Subtleties Queen, the House of Lords, and
Of Royal Prerogative teUHouse of Commons, can doA
. whatever it likes and is subject ! ?,
THE REASON why the signifi- 'to political pressure. But it
cance of the monarch is diffs i a legislature. The govern- The monarchy is not just an of-
cult for an outsider to appreciate ent of the country is carried on lice, it is a person, a member of
is that as there is no written con- by the Queen through her Min- a family.
stitution there is no neat list of isters.
powers and limitations which can Here is the power, but as a re- FURTHERMORE, the Queen ex-
be pointed to as the scope of the sult of the constitutional struggles ercises one power herself, and
monarch's functions, of the 17th century and the fact not through her ministers. This
To know his importance you that George I spoke no English arises when she has no Minister
must know what he does, and and was probably not very inter- to advise her, either as a result of
this is not usua evealed in those ested in England anyway, this a resignation, a dissolution, or the
important insta es which are the power is exercised by the Queen's Prime Minister's death. This
testing point of his power until Ministers, the Cabinet. This is power is the choice of the next
long after the event, in possibly known as a constitutional conven- Prime Minister.
prejudiced memoirs of other par- tion. This is the basis of the mon-
ticipants of the particular crisis, The only sanction to ensure its arch's position. The practical de-
when memories are dulled, and the continuance is its practicability. tails are complex, but the central
impact of the decision has become It has been found to work, and idea is moderately simple. In the

itiona
Queen, Britain has a leader who is
completely outside politics, and yet
at the center of them.
IT IS hoped that this description
has shown that the Crown has
a very real importance in the
English constitution in the daily
function of government by virtue
of its central position. But more
than this the Crown represents
something intangible which may
not be susceptible of precise defi-
nition but which provides unity
and strength to British govern-
ment.
Compounded part of tradition,
part of the connection with the
Church (the Coronation has its
religious significance in the con-
secration of the monarch), part
of the example given by the Royal
family in its daily life and service
of the country, this intangible
represents an element in British
life which would only be lost with
great cost.
It is this element which makes
possible one of the other func-
tions of the Crown and that is to
act as the hub of the Common-
wealth. The Commonwealth coun-
tries have achieved independent
status with legislatures largely~
similar to that of Great Entin,
and the nominal head of govern-
ment in each case is the Queen
represented by her Governor-Gen-
eral.
Good Deeds
On All Occasions
THE OTHER functions of the
monarch can be gathered'
daily from the world's newspapers
which are kind enough to show
great interest in Britain's Queen.
From opening fetes to entertain-
ing visiting leaders of state; from
providing a social pinnacle for
film stars to initiating and pro-
'oting good works of various

kinds for the country; from lead.
ing the religious life of the coun-
try to signing the documents of
state; there is nothing too big or
too small.
These are functions which could
be performed by others, but when
performed by the monarch they
become more than just functions
and part of the life of the coun-
try. The monarchy is not just an
office, it is a person, a member of
a family.
Trained to the service from
childhood, the monarch's is a
dedicated life, and one which
earns the love and respect of his
people.
Certainly it is attended by an
aura of tradition, of religion, and
of all those irrational elements in
a people which go by the names
of loyalty, patriotism and the
others. But because these elements
center round a person they lack
the dangers that irrational, emo-
tional ideas may often have.
The Service
Of Heredity
FINALLY A monarchy has con-
tinuity, not only in the past
but in the future. The monarch's
subjects know who will be their
leader, even after his death, but
this cannot be said of a non-her-
editary system where the mantle
of leadership may not fall on one
whose life has instructed him how
to wear it.
This is a brief and incomplete
attempt to show the importance
of the monarchy in British gov-
ernment, both with respect to its
constitutional powers and influ-
ence and also to the elements in
a monarchical form of govern-
ment which make it so valuable
a form of national leadership.
But the writer fears that he will
not have convinced his readers
that the Boston tea party was a
mistake and agrees reluctantly
that perhaps a republic is best
for the United States of America.

4I

The Heyday of the Casual Collector

(EDITOR's NOTE: That the manag-
ing editornotsGargoyle has atr:w srt-
ens epinions is a proposition that
should be proved every now and then.
Here David Kessel, somewhat of a
scholar along record-collecting lines,
surveys the present market.)
By DAVID KESSEL
T HE MODERN living room has
added a new feature. Music.
In place of the dear old purple-
draped piano there now sits a
large and expensive piece of
equipment designed for the re-
production of recorded music. Re-
cords litter the floor, recora mag-
azineshclutter the shelves, sound
fills the air.
But for all this apparatus scat-
tered about in living rooms
throughout the country; for all
the multitudes now exposed to
music via electronics, the picture
is not quite so bright as it might'
appear.
It seems that several trends
have accompanied this widespread
diffusion of music, many of quest-
ionable value.
Much has been gained. Record-
ed music is everywhere available
and practically all significant
works of major composers have
been recorded, along with many
compositions by less popular men.
But modern advertising and
technical jargon have combined'
to surround this musical record-,
ing spree with a smoke screen
which seems, to many, almost im-
penetrable,

Hi Fi Hysteria Has Debased
A Field of Serious Collecting
Criticism f tives are piled up to create "ultra said most about sound usually
UALITY OP criticism of re- high fidelity," "extended range had, until recently anyhow, in-
corded usic has deteriorated h fidelity, and dmed near ferior artists and performances.
considerably, With the market unbelievably high fidelity" the en- Of course there are exceptions,
figuratively flooded with record- suing confusion is somehow under- but the inverse relationship be-
ings, critics have neither time standable. tween quality of performance and
nor desire to separate the occas- Record jackets have under- advertised quality of sound still
ional good from the predominant gone a similar transformation, holds to some degree.
bad. and have emerged advertising
The art of criticism itself needs posters instead of record holders. Record Clubs
a new definition. Critics are often A serious attempt is being made
unsure of whether they are crit- to sell records by the jackets H rOWEVE, the most regrettable
icising performance or recorded alone.. arrival on the scene is that
sound or surface noise or jacket If any proof of this is needed, wte explors of this sudden
wave of record buying. ui What Vi-
design or how well the bass Drum notice someday the tendency of gil Thomson calls the "music ap-
shakes the room. casual buyers to thumb through
The immediate result of this stacks of record jackets searching predation rocket" is growing each
uncertainty is that a conflicting for a bright, colorful and glossy day,
mass of so-called criticism has jacket filled with meaningless The first of these organizations,
fallen upon the unsuspecting re- phrases about balance and con- although considerably better than
cord buyer who is quite unpre- trol and fidelity and frequency most, was the Concert Hall Soc-
pared for this situation. Espec- and microphone placement. iety. With a subtle combination
ially dangerous are the comments The difficulties faced by casual of snob appeal and genuine merit,
by critics who are employed by buyers if jackets were plain might this organization sold subscrip-
recording companies to praise be compared to the problems faced tions for a yearly series of re-
their own products. by a serious collector if names of cordings of music presumably un-
conductor and orchestra were available elsewhere. Recently this
Advertising omitted. company has released many of its
so-called "members only" record-
RECORD ADVERTISING has Sound ings to the general public at sub-
ceased to be ridiculous and stantial discounts.
has become completely idiotic. T1lE EMPHASIS placed on But Concert Hall did offer much
When the Philadelphia Orchestra quality of recorded sound is good music when most of the re-
is called "the world's greatest high quickly evaluated if it is stememb- cording industry was turning out
fidelity orchestra," when adjec- ered that the organizations which a rather unimaginative selection.,

The majority of dispensers of
music appreciation, however, are
certainly not to be congratulated
on their job of selling half-baked
performances with often ridicu-
lous program notes to a gullible
public.
Prices & Strangers
rrERE ARE other disappoint-
ing facets to this situation.
Prices are in a rather peculiar
state. Presumably most record
buyers know that they pay con-
siderably more for records in
Ann Arbor than they would in
Boston or New York.
This cannot be easily remedied.
The serious record collector is
simply advised to make occasional
trips to the East to purchase re-
cords.
There is, in fact, no simple
remedy for any of the criticisms
set forth here. Recording com-
panies could use plain record
jackets, so that selections could
be made without the aid of sen-
sational art, but this will prob-
ably never happen. Magazines are
free to employ whatever critics
they choose regardless of affili-
ation.
Apparently the only advice for
the casual record-buyer who
wants to increase his knowledge
of music while accumulating a
worthwhile collection is this:
Don't take advice from strang-
ers.

-

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