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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 13, No. 18. August 10, 1950

International Conference

page 2

International Conference

At a time when New Zealand is honoured by the presence of so many international University men of note, it is a sad reflection on our society to think that other conferences are going on also which are likely to vitiate much of the good of our own little effort

In the thermal regions, visitors are being shown simultaneously the usual visitor's array of natural wonders which it is everyone's duty to wonder at, and the array of talent which New Zealand's university can gather together. And the latter is perhaps more to be wondered at in the genuine sense than in the former. For New Zealand can take no particular pride in the fact that she has been endowed with a host of geysers and such like—and anyway, even comparatively second rate countries like Iceland can turn on much the same sort of treat.

But we are distinguished a little in the men who can represent us at a University conference: some of them are maybe not New Zealanders by birth, but they have been here long enough to have assimilated our outlook.

The University which they are so much part of is far from ideal. It suffers from the broad basis of the pattern which is essentially colonial, and in many ways it is far from satisfactory. None probably are more aware of this than the men who are speaking for us at the conference.

Probably they are looking now, not so much to the concrete things which we can take some pride in, but the things which, in the future, must be remedied.

And probably at the same time they are thinking that the results of other international conferences which are going on at the same time are likely to make the results of their thinking into the future worth about as much as the not air which is issuing from the vents around them.

This is no fault of their own. Such conferences are vastly worth while, well justified by the spirit they must engender among those men who are responsible for universities. Maybe if the other conferences were going as well as theirs, we would have no need to be worried.

But maybe it is not only the university administrators in the thermal regions who are sitting over the top of a thin crust covering forces which may erupt"