Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 13, No. 14. July 13, 1950
First Exec. Meeting July 3
First Exec. Meeting July 3
The first meeting of the student Executive was held on Monday evening. As might be expected the agenda contained many issues of vital importance to the student body, both in principle, and in detail.
Among the correspondence which was dealt with was a communication from W.F.D.Y. concerning recent measures in South Africa directed by the Malan administration. The letter protested against racial segregation laws, the banning of the Communist Party, and recorded an appeal from the Indian community protesting against the disabilities they suffer under South African law. Mr. Cotton wondered whether he could move that the letter be returned; Mr. K. O'Brien though that it would be a waste of postage to do this.
Mr. K O'Brien moved that the letter be received and that the next business on the agenda be considered. After dealing with correspondence the meeting considered the question of VUC representation at the Proposed International Union of Students Congress to be held in Sofia on August 14 of this year. A memoranda giving background matter to this problem was prepared before the meeting and issued to Exec, members for their information. The following is an extract from the memo.
"Some months ago the Executive decided to seek observers to go to I.U.S. from VUC, preferably if they were returning to New Zealand. Four names were proposed and the people written to N.Z.U.S.A. was asked to select its representation from this group but refused. They will be represented by the vice-president Mr. Miller and last year's president together with Mr. Jim Ziman, N.Z.U.S.A. representative in 1947 and 1948. Two people, Mr. Alec McLeod, a former VUC vice-president, and Mr. K. T. Mathews indicated that they would go. Mr. Mathews is returning at the end of this yar. Mr. MeLeod and Mr. and Mrs. Mathews were appointed. The instructions were sent on June 28. They were granted a total of £15, but this money has not been despatched and the drafts will not be bought till the new Exec, decides its attitude. The point is whether the representation is justified as N.Z.U.S.A. will be represented at considerable expense, as our questions can be asked through them, as they are the national body who have made a majority decision and as the answers to many of the late Executives questions can be found in earlier reports of New Zealand delegates and I.U.S. itself. Presumably the Executive wish to obtain a different point of view, and thought that the value of a man returning to New Zealand would be great, even though he is not in close touch with student affairs in this college."
Mr. Paul Cotton moved (seconded Peter Tarrant) "that letters be written immediately to our observers informing them that in view of the apparent changed attitude of VUCSA to international affairs that we no longer wish them as observers but that they write to us informing us of any inconvenience which they may have been put with regard to any restitution."
Miss Barbara Fougere opposed the motion: "We should not rescind the instructions to which we have already committed ourselves and that it does not automatically follow that students up here have shown themselves opposed to all international affairs."
Miss Nancy Pearce: "A motion was passed at the A.G.M. associating VUC with efforts toward peace and we should send observers as part of this move."
In the discussion it came out that the proposed VUC observers would also act in the same capacity for New Zealand Student Labour Federation.
Mr. Cotton: "We can get the information from them anyway."
Miss Nancy Pearce: "Something for nothing? Money."
Mr. K. O'Brien: "I believe it is a sheer waste of time, no good purpose can be served; only wasting time."
Miss A. Cook: "It is the last international body to which we are affiliated."
Mr. K. O'Brien: "Mostly propaganda activity. Yugoslavia was kicked out just as she was in W.F.D.Y."
Dave Horsley: "I think that it is in rather bad taste to withdraw now we have gone so far. Perhaps there is not much to be gained but why go back now? They have already been asked."
Mr. Peter Tarrant: "General opinion of VUC is against international activity."
Mr. K. O'Brien: "We are not here to spend money on propaganda machinery."
Miss A. Cooke: "Haggling over money is a very unpleasant kind of approach to student matters."
The motion was put and lost by 6 votes to 4, Mr. Curtin abstaining.
Mr. Paul Cotten was appointed assitant secretary; Jeff Stewart as Gymnasium controller; Miss Chris Harvey as Cafeteria controller.
This does not constitute the bulk of the work on the agenda. In fact it is only a small fraction of the total and bulks large to many students. I regret that possibly not all who spoke on the motions dealt with in this article have had their opinions recorded but the technical difficulties of recording made this impossible.
—H. C. M. N.