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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 11, No. 7. June 23rd, 1948

Academic Freedom Challenged

Academic Freedom Challenged

The I.U.S. Executive's report clarifying the position of the Universities in Czechoslovakia must re-awaken the apprehension felt by people of all shades of opinion at Use reported refusal by the British Universities to send representatives or greetings to the recent 600th Jubilee gathering of Prague University. This occurred at a time when reliable reports of events in Czechoslovakia were unobtainable through the British; at a tune, in fact, when even Messrs. Marshall and Truman were trying to calm the American outburst of anti-Czech hysteria, engendered by their own early provocative comments, by warning that the lack of information made It necessary to refrain from a hasty Judgment of events.

The attitude of these British Universities was not only a grave insult to a sister institution with a long association with Britain, but also a negation of the ideals of tolerance and justice of universities everywhere. Having thus neglected an opportunity for trained and we would have hoped, unbiassed University observers to investigate the position at first hand, the British authorities must bear much of the blame for the subsequent lies and distortions of the daily press. The capitalist democracies themselves have an unsatisfactory record in the matter of expulsions of faculty members. For example, a number of British scientists lost their positions before the war, because of their political beliefs, and in one case for the crime of marrying a coloured woman, and the present civil service purge threatens to extend to all technical personnel.