Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 7, No. 3. May 3, 1944
Overseas Student Congress — University Labour Federation
Overseas Student Congress
University Labour Federation
Students in New Zealand have never hesitated to perform their role in the fight against Fascism, nevertheless there is a definite lack of co-operation between the more progressive-minded forces of the various Colleges. These should be able to work collectively through a federal student organisation. In England such a body does exist, the University Labour Federation. It comprises some 3,000 active members, who represent over thirty Colleges throughout the British Isles.
Their immediate aim is to unite the forward elements of the labour movement for the complete obliteration of Fascism and an establishment of a free and democratic Europe.
Recently the U.L.F. held its twenty-fourth annual conference in London. There were 129 people present who represented 33 universities. Many of the demands put forward have been voiced by other progressive movements throughout the world, e.g., the Opening of a second front, the re-internment of Mosley and the granting of independence to India. Their weekly magazine "The Bulletin" published the following statement:—
For over 150 years India has represented Paradise for British Imperialists. For over 150 years Britain has exploited India, has oppressed her people, prevented her industrial development, crushed her culture. This has been done sometimes in the name of a divine crusading spirit. The more truthful admit to having pursued this policy because "India is the brightest jewel in the British Crown." For a handful of Imperialists in this country, India has throughout the years stood for millions of pounds sterling, huge profits, a safe market for exports and a veritable gold mine for raw materials. In the face of all this, the health and happiness of India's 400,000,000 has meant less than a flea-bite. The people of India are anti-Fascist; given the chance the nation would prove itself, as a whole, to be capable of the same bravery and determination in fighting the enemy as has been shown by those individual members of Indian regiments who fought with outstanding bravery in North Africa."
In accordance with this policy the following resolution was passed unanimously:—
"The U.L.F. protests strongly at the reactionary and repressive policy of the Government towards India. Not only does British rule deny the principles of the Atlantic Charter, but it has even failed to provide the necessities of life for the people." It also included the removal of the arch-Munichite Amery, the release of the Indian national leaders and the right for the Indian people to choose their own form of government.
Besides the Indian question, other demands such as the following were made:—
"That the Government issue a statement as to the future policy of post-war Germany."
"That the fourth term be introduced into the universities."
"That a comprehensive health scheme be established in all universities." Probably the best summary to this brief outline of the U.L.F. can be given by the vice-president, Sir Stafford Cripps: "The prospects before the young people of this country are very bad. When victory is won they will have to concentrate all their energies and powers upon the wise building of a new and better world. Unless they play their full part in this great postwar effort, we shall be in danger of falling back into the old ways which have brought so much suffering into the world."
It is not specifically a German creed; there are dangerous manifestations of it among the most reactionary sections in this country.