Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 13 July 5, 1939
If Mr. Lewin refers to the report of the Annual General Meeting in the last "Salient" (which, of course, was not available to him when he wrote) he will see that the only charge that I made that may be taken to be an allegation of "unfair editorial management." was "That contributions to 'Salient' which expressed different views from those held by the staff mainly responsible for "Salient's" production were deliberately withheld." Those who were at the meeting will agree that the only contributions I was referring to were the two letters I sent in. In the light of the explanation which Mr. Freeman has since given me I now admit that they were not withheld because of their views. The first was not published because the appropriate parts of the paper were filled before it came in; and the second was deemed to be irrelevant. (See page 2). Hence I now withdraw any part of my charges which might be considered to imply "unfair editorial management."
I did not wish to move a vote of no confidence because I considered at the time that there would have to be a prima facie charge of unfairness before I should be justified in doing that, and I was not satisfied even then that such a charge could be made. I might have maintained in support of a no confidence motion that the paper through the nature of its subject-matter and its failure to give representative points of view does not conform with the ideas held by the majority of the students as to what a University paper should be: but proof of that was not then available, and it then seemed doubtful in view of the failure of the said majority to come forward with its views whether the staff could be held responsible for their non-expression.
Mr. Lewin goes on to criticise Mr. Freeman for his action in issuing the challenge. I shall leave it to Mr. Freeman himself, if he thinks it necessary, to reply to that part of the letter; but I should like to question Mr. Lewin's assertion that the arrangement cannot lead to any finality regarding good or bad conduct of editorial policy.
Already the abnormally large number of contributions received for this issue (enough to fill the paper much more than twice over) shows that the guest-editorship has achieved what has hitherto been impossible: it has bestirred many of those opposed to "Salient" to write; and we ask that now they have started they will not quickly leave off.
Next week we mean to do more. Our main feature will be a "Symposium on Salient"—a symposium of the opinions of representative students on "Salient" as it has been up to now, and on how, if at all, it could be improved. If that furnishes no ideas on editorial policy the fault will be entirely with the students.
—W. S. Mitchell.