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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 15, No. 3. March 20, 1952

Resolution at the Cove — Peace Statement..

Resolution at the Cove

Peace Statement...

At this year's NZUSA Congress it was pointed out by staff speakers and by students taking part in discussion that N.Z. students and graduates did not interest themselves in problems which should be the concern of University people, and about which the community could expect some lead from the University. The tendency is either to accept ready-made opinions or to hold no opinion at all. The universal ignorance of many problems was regarded as a failure to accept responsibility by the student body.

In past years many of the valuable discussions begun at Congress lapsed when students returned to their colleges. At Congress this year the Student Labour Federation and the Christian Students held several meetings to see what ideas and beliefs they had in common. Many students not connected with the S.L.F. or the Christian Church and several students who belong to both also took part in the discussions.

While there were at these discussions inevitable and fundamental differences of opinion expressed it was felt by all that world peace was something for which we should all be striving, and consequently a meeting was called to discuss what we could do jointly in this direction.

The outcome of this meeting was that a declaration was drawn up embodying five concrete suggestions upon which we agreed almost unanimously. We realise that the word peace is open to many interpretations and that a Christian understand, more by peace than a mere absence of war, but being aware of the threat of a world war we agreed that our immediate common objective was to prevent such a war and we were convinced that the adoption of this resolution would contribute to that end. When the declaration had been agreed upon it was put before the whole Congress and once more almost unanimously (there were 5 votes in the negative) adopted as an official resolution of the NZUSA Congress.

It was further agreed that this declaration should be submitted to all the Executives of the constituent colleges of the NZUSA as well as to the executive of NZUSA and that they should be asked to adopt this resolution. It should be stressed that this declaration is not backed by any partisan bodies but has the support of students and staff of the most diverse opinions.

Congress further resolved that this statement if adopted by NZUSA and/or any of its constituent colleges should be sent to the Government of N.Z. as an expression of opinion of New Zealand students and also to the governments of the great powers who are named in clause II and to the President of the Security Council of the U.N.O.

Falling wider acceptance the resolution should still be sent, to the above places as coming from NZUSA Congress. We realise that world peace cannot be maintained by resolutions, yet we strongly feel that it is the duty of individuals and groups in a democracy to put their views on such a matter, and that such views can and do affect decisions made at high levels. And particularly do we feel that the University has a duty to speak on matters of such great importance, thereby also helping to some extent to make public opinion more positive and informed. We propose that this statement should be given the maximum publicity in the Press, and particularly in the student press that it may thereby elicit more interest among the student body and make the subject of peace one of more immediate concern, and that it will be discussed and criticised and thus help to formulate student opinion.

Statement

We, students of N.Z. believing that a major threat to world peace and security stems from the misunderstanding that arises between nations, urge that the following practical suggestions be adopted as policy and acted upon by the New Zealand Government and carried into the United Nations.

(I)That there should be an immediate meeting of representatives of the governments of India, Great Britain. U.S.A., U.S.S.R, France and the Chinese People's Republic to discuss their problems and to settle their differences.
(II)That these governments should work in concert to bring about the cessation of hostilities in Korea, and the peaceful settlement of the Korean dispute.
(III)That these governments should take steps to bring about universal disarmament.
(IV)That the Security Council of the U.N. should be urged to admit to membership of the United Nations Organisation all the nations that apply for admission, including the Chinese People's Republic.
(V)That all governments should be called upon to permit the free exchange of information and the unrestricted travel of persons.