Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 13, No. 11. June 8th, 1950
C.V.B. says "Yes"
C.V.B. says "Yes"
The cynical and shallow nature of A.W.C.'s attack on WFDY is obvious to anyone who has read our delegates' report or any WFDY documents.
A.W.C. dislikes WFDY "phraseology". For young Malayans and Indo-Chinese, the words "imperialism" and "democratic forces" have a very precise meaning, much as "capitalist crisis" had for young New Zealanders during the slump, and "fascism" during the recent war. The accusation of distorting Truman's words is absurdly abstract. "Communism" Is used to mean "any democratic forces opposing US expansionism." We all know that the new Chinese Government is only 1-3 Communist, and that the American Inquisition has ousted the mildest of liberals.
You don't have to be a Communist to recognise the positive challenge of the Soviet Union to capitalism. If we prefer to ignore the fact that their youth have economic independence and social opportunities far exceeding our own: and prefer to follow uncritically the lead of a dishonest Press in slandering and abusing that country, then we are not acting in the traditions of a university.
Despite his scrutiny of WFDY files, A.W.C. is ignorant of the fact that the "People's Youth of Yugoslavia" were expelled from WFDY because their Central Committee and delegates to WFDY Council were proven to be not elected, but appointed by the Yugoslav Government.
A.W.C. sneers at the young people of the world celebrating the symbolical national day of anti-fascist Spain, and that of the young people facing the degrading conditions and political benightedness of colonial areas. Remember Roosevelt's words: "If our brothers are oppressed, then we are oppressed ... If their freedom is taken away, our freedom is not secure."
As for world peace, does A.W.C. agree with Hitler that "only in continual warfare does mankind progress?" The mothers of tomorrow should be the natural champions of peace. So should the fathers. But I feel sorry for anything sired by A.W.C.
There was nothing in the New Zealand report that was untrue; every significant event and current effecting the youth movements represented was mentioned. Association policy was reliably reflected in the entirely correct treatment of the "Referendum" and the "Salient" dispute.
A.W.C. is frivolous in his treatment of the possibility of an imminent economic debacle. In this event, it is obviously in our interests to cooperate with the young people of other countries to fight against a forced decline in living standards. WFDY has already given an excellent lead—at worldwide gatherings, in International youth commissions reporting on different areas and problems, and in organising united campaigns among the youth of individual countries, for better conditions of living, working and education. We can learn from the problems of the Canadian Student Christian Movement, from the Scots Mining Youth League, from the Viet Nam Democratic Youth League, from the Medical Students of America and from the Czech Youth Front—and they can learn from us. We can learn to understand one another's point of view, and with a sympathetic knowledge of the nature of the tasks others are facing, we can lend our support, and expect the support of others. Thus through the liaison of the Federation, and through personal contact at World Youth festivals and congresses, we can get to know the other young people with whom we are sharing the planet.
So, too, must we co-operate with the youth of other countries—all other countries—to safeguard and strengthen world peace under the United Nations. For without world peace there can be no secure future.
Surely those are adequate grounds for supporting WFDY—in every way. Victoria has already rejected disaffiliation, and will do so again. It remains to make the affiliation have some more real meaning.