Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 17. August 9, 1939
Russian Alliance Discussed — New Club Starts in Fine Style
Russian Alliance Discussed
New Club Starts in Fine Style
If an attendance of 300 students (in the midst of exams.) is an index of interest in international affairs, the international Relation Club gives great promise of filing a need in College life. At the Club's Initial meeting. August 1, interest was sustained at a high peak for two hours—testimony to the capacity of the speakers and to the excellent possibilities of the Club.
The meeting was arranged as a dialogue between Professor Lipson and Dr. J. C. Beaglehole on the pros and cons of an alliance with Russia. Incidentally, the conversational manner adopted by those speakers was enhanced by the arrangement of the seating to produce an atmosphere friendly and conducive to frank discussion.
The careful survey of all factors involved in the question of a Russian Alliance, as well as of many phases of International politics, gave an unusually balanced picture of the situation.
Perhaps the main charm of the meeting lay in the perfect freedom everyone felt to contribute his mite to the discussion. It was not a debate; minds were completely open, and no dogmatic assertions were made for the sake of effect. The dominant note was a tolerant searching, for truth; in short, a welcome relief from the comparatively useless bombast of debates.
Encouraged by the evidence of interest in political affairs, the club is toying with the idea of alternating discussions of domestic concerns with its deliberations on international affairs. Discussions of contemporary society and politics in Now Zealand would round off a branch of student activity which has boon unduly neglected.
Professor Lipson based his case upon two propositions, from which he drew a natural conclusion. Firstly; The Nazis are going to continue their attempts at further expansion in Europe. Secondly: If they are to be stopped, as much power as possible must be gathered against them, which led to the conclusion that the best deterrent was an alliance of England, France and Russia.
Dr. Beaglehole, though professing himself in the depths of a profound depression resulting from contemplation of the last war and reflection that history was for once repeating itself, maintained a lively defence against the Professor's points. Considering the question from the point of view of practically every nation, in particular from that of Russia, he stated himself unable to see that an alliance would either preserve the peace of the world or be of the slightest advantage to Russia.
In any case neither of the speakers held out any hope of a peaceful solution of the world's difficulties.
The hum of conversation at suppertime gave the impression that in the new club everyone had found what he was looking for. The insight of Professor Wood in sponsoring the club was as shrewd as usual. I fancy we'll be hearing quite a bit of the International Relations Club.