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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 11, No. 5. April 28th, 1948

No Man's Land

No Man's Land

Drawing of no man's land on a battlefield


Dear Sir,—Published in Salient of 7th April was an obnoxious article headed "He Jests at Scars." Let me tell you now that that is just another piece of Communistic propaganda. Whether W.J.C. has been fooled or whether he is responsible for the spreading of malicious propaganda remains to be seen.

To say that we are being "stampeded into war" by American "dollar imperialism" is absolute nonsense. Might I remind you that without American aid, Europe would be starving and Great Britain "on the rocks." Yes, that is what Russia wanted; but America stopped that.

"American violation of Italian sovereignty." Yes and I suppose Russian infiltration into Czechoslovakia are one and the same. The only difference being that the Italians are free and the Czechs not. But if the Italian elections are won by the Communists (this is unlikely, for Communists have never had an outright majority in any general elections they have participated in. The industrial chaos communistically inspired after the elections is the danger point) then we will see the Italians vanish behind an "iron curtin" and only their wails and moans will reach our ears.

There is only one way to avoid war, aid the Truman doctrine and the Marshall Plan but at the same time take a stern view of Russia's world aggression policy. Threaten her with the atomic bomb and use it now if necessary. That will bring her to her senses (if she has any) and make the Russians realize that they cannot control the destiny of all nations.

Men are born to be free: freedom of speech, freedom from want and fear will win against the tyrannical hordes of Soviet aggression.

J. F. Little.

Otago Comment

Dear Sir,—The following is the text of a resolution (proposed F. Fowler and seconded R. Anderson) passed unanimously at the last club meeting on 8th April:—

"That this meeting of the O.U. Radical Club, while not approving of the political motion passed by the late V.U.C. Executive, strongly deprecates the tactics pursued by the Right Wing at the recent special general meeting and regard these as a denial of the freedom of speech and election."

—Yours fraternally,

M. Goodey.

Hon. Sec.

Building Fund

Sir.—The decision of the Building Fund Appeal Organizing Committee to defer the appeal for funds for the new student building "because of the effect on the public of recent events in the Student Association" must cause concern to all students who hope to see this business pro-proceeding as efficiently as possible. The appeal for funds has been the object of a great deal of thought and planning for some time past, and the present year with something of a boom in the business world, together with the growing urgency of the matter, certainly makes the energetic pursuance of this appeal most desirable at the present time.

Even if the business men of Wellington were so antagonized by the suggestion made in the daily press of "Communist influence" at V.U.C.. this reason surely no longer exists. With the present executive in office, the association is in a more favourable position for winning the affection and confidence of the City Fathers and Godfathers than it has been for many years. Not more than one or two members of this Executive can fairly be accused of progressive political ideas. Surely this unusual state of affairs provides the best possible security to the business world that their money will be wisely spent.

H. C. Evison.


Dear Sir,—I have in my possession a woman's blue jumper that was left in the C.U.C. Tournament delegate's car at the picnic held in Dunedin. I would appreciate it if you could advertise this fact in your paper, and asking the loser to send description and address to me, c/o the Students' Association, and I will then forward it.

—Penelope Pocock, Hon. Secretary, C.U.C.S.A.

Boy Scouts

Dear Sir—An article, "World Youth Week—Progress Through Unity," appeared in a recent issue of your publication. It contained misleading statements in the form of insidious propaganda, which I feel should be corrected, and I therefore ask you to publish this letter in full.

(Sorry, no. See last issue.—Ed.) Your suggestion that the Boy Scout movement is a tool of Imperialist politicians is pure nonsense. The Scout movement owes no allegiance to any political party, nor does it spread propaganda of any political creed. I am speaking from experience, your contributor obviously is not. Any person who has had the privilege of belonging actively to the organization for six or seven years as I have, cannot truthfully deny my observations. For four years I have the good fortune to be a patrol leader in company with Mr. Bruce Milburn, who was recently the editor of Salient. In 1938-39 I attended the world jamboree in Sydney, at which Mr. R. Smith of the V.U.C. Socialist Club held a responsible position. I am sure these two gentlemen will confirm my observations.

It is true that the scout movement does not concern itself with the problems of higher education and social reform, etc., but as was pointed out in your article, the ages of the boys concerned age from 11 years to 18 years. They receive training in camp craft, ambulance work, etc. They are taught the normal Christian doctrines, and are encouraged to practice them. I suggest that the real essence of your article was another (cut).

B. J. Connelly.

The Immoral Bard

Dear Sir,—It is surely lamentable that anyone who has so much that is timely and of value of say on crooked thinking and muddled language should himself be guilty of inaccuracies, overstatement and bad taste. The magnificent essay "On Liberty" examining the nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual, is worthy of close attention. But the somewhat loose reference to the authority of Mill or Shakespeare or A. D. Lindsay is suspect. The political illiterates who, "in the porches of my ear did pour the leperous distilment," to quote the bard, share with him the gift of picturesque and metaphorical language. Mr. Oliver condemns emotive extravagance yet sneers at the corpulent figures of the city fathers. The precepts of representative government, the American way of life and British fair play are equated with mental blindness, and this is an example of straight political thinking! Hamlet in saner mood is made to say, "What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties! In form and moving how express and admirable! ... And yet to Mr. Oliver what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights him not; no, nor small town lawyers nor accountants neither. Mr. Oliver might reply in the words of Macbeth:

"Who can be wise, amaz'd, temperate and furious,

Loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man."

And indeed I am in sympathy with much of his comment though not altogether with the manner of its express.

Alan Miles.