Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 20, No. 8. June 13, 1957
"When I hear the word "culture", I cock my revolver, said Herman Goering, or some other thug of the 'thirties. His philosophy appears to be shared by a great may politicians whose stars are still at their zenith.
Last issue, we featured the assaut on academic freedom being waged by the Government of Queensland. But that is only one of many incidents of the past few months which, seen as a whole, present a frightening picture of rings of darkness closing in on the little islands of light are the universities of the world.
The South African situation has been sufficiently well publicised. With the whole of the University communities of Capetown and Witwatersrand lined up against them, together with every reputable intellectual in the country, the Government cannot impose Apartheid without a full scale crusade against independent thought.
Most sinister is the South African Government's use of prostitute intellectuals for the purpose of proving that the thoughts of various liberal South African have "Communist tendencies" (whatever that means) possession of which is equatable, under the incredible laws of that country, with treason.
Trials reminiscent of Torquemada, where the charge laid is concerned entirely with thoughts and not deeds done, have been rightly condemned in Hitler's and Stalin's Europe.
We have even condemned them in McCarthy's America—though the latest inquisition of the courageous playwright Arthur Miller has so far met with very' little protest, and world opinion seems to have cooled in its fervour for Hungary's intellectuals since it has become evident that so many of those who have fallen foul of the Government are themselves professing Communists.
But inquisition is becoming increasingly frequent in the Commonwealth, too. It was shocking to read the other week the assertion of a London University Law Professor (Lord Chorley of Kendal) that University teachers were being required to "Security" officers to spy on the activities and associations of their students and fellow teachers.
When inquisition takes this form, the victim is often sentenced without trial, without even knowing what he is charged with. Inferences are drawn in his absence from possibly innocent facts. Human relationships and confidences are eroded by fear and suspicion.
This is a menace to all the University stands for and we shall condemn it—and fight it—whether it happens in Budapest, London, or Wellington.—C.V.B.