Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 4, No. 1 March 12, 1941
A quarter of a century ago our fathers and uncles were maimed and killed believing that thus a permanent peace would be ensured—for us. They were deluded. We are involved in another war, and it seems that we can only work towards its successful termination.
But afterwards—what? Is another Versailles to be perpetrated on our children? Shall we permit the anomalies of the present social system and an international situation like that of the past twenty-five years to be perpetuated? What can we, as students at Victoria, do now to prepare ourselves to assist at the reconstruction?
We can think, talk, discuss. We must decide our course of action fairly soon now—and many of us will decide differently ; but there is nothing to be lost and much to be gained in comparing our ideas. Attend debates, join the International Relations Club and the Society for Peace, War, and Civil Liberties; be interested in the activities of the N.Z. University Students' Association and the N.Z.U. Press Bureau; attend Tournament and meet students from other colleges; come along to "Salient" room on Monday and Friday evenings and find out what students overseas and in New Zealand are thinking; write for "Salient"—if you disagree with the views expressed in an article, write another to controvert them. If your article is well thought out and clearly expressed, we'll print it.
We are educated partly at the community's expense, and for that reason and by virtue of the fact that we are an integral part of the community, we have some social responsibility, to use our training and our abilities for the benefit of society. How many of us consider this when planning our course of study? As educated men and women we have obligations towards others less fortunate. They pay for our education, and as often as not get little or no return for their money. We choose Latin because it is a degree unit gained easily and as easily forgotten, not economics or social science, because they will help us to an understanding of systems that we may thereby better them.
After the war, the youth of the world will be clamant for a settlement whereby wars will be ended, and at the same time for a revision of the social system of their several lands. They will look to the universities for their leaders—to you and me and John Jones of Tasmania and Mary Brown from Kansas. Are we prepared to lead? We are young and we are trained, i.e., we will have to live under the system, and we have the special knowledge to make, it function.
However varied our ideals of the perfect society, most should agree that it is only right and proper for our professionally trained men, economists and political scientists, to be given a chance after the war. They should be set to examine and endeavour to remove the causes of wars, the reasons why one man has no food for his belly, while another hesitates between grouse and woodpigeon.
We will be the economists and political scientists.