Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 20, No. 10. July 19, 1957
The second student-speaker evening of the Maths, and Physics Society was, as before, well attended. There were two interesting talks on space flight.
The first speaker, John Hercus, discussed the methods of getting a body to travel in an orbit about the earth or eventually to fly to another celestial sphere. He gave an account of the difficulties that are encountered with present rockets and how they may be overcome. Although he made numerous calculations on the blackboard, none were too difficult for first-year students to follow.
Hank Jansen, the second speaker pointed out uses that could be made of an artificial satellite, manned or unmanned. If meteorologists could observe the earth from satellite stations in space they would be able to give warnings of unfavourable weather. He also discussed the uses that could be made of satellites as low-temperature laboratories, relaying stations for radios and television, astronomical observatories and as a site for equipment which involves working in a vacuum.—J.T.S.
In the Wellington Chess League competitions. V.U.C. teams have made a good start.
The B. Grade team is doing particularly well—four of last year's team help make a strong well-balanced unit. Earlier this term, the team defeated last year's E-Grade champions. Hull Valley, in a closely fought contest 3½ to 2. They have since followed up this success with a win against the Civic Chess Club by the same margin. Having avenged last year's defeats by these clubs, the B Grade team must now be reckoned a strong contender for the championship.
In its first competition match, the C Grade team held the Civic Club to a draw. This was good performance since one of the games had to be forfeited by default. The team is one of the best we have been able to field in C Grade for some time and will, we hope, have a good season in championship play.
Lunch hour films are being run by the Geological Society every second Thursday. These films, mainly from B.P. Ltd., are of general geological interest. There are some on oil prospecting. The first showing took place on Thursday 13th and 35 people attended.
The films shown although not purely geological, were interesting, but future showings will be of a more geological nature.
They will be held from 12 p.m. in the Geological I lecture room, and will be advertised on the Society notice board.—J.I.F.
Welfare and Slavery
At St. Patrick's College, on Sunday. 9th June, a panel comprising. Bernie Galvin. M A.. Pat Burns. M.A. Maurice O'Brien. L.L.B. and Dr. Des. Hurley. Ph.D., discussed the topic. "The Welfare Slate is it morally good or bad.'"
The speakers emphasised that the concept of the welfare state was a modern one. Mr O'Brien said that the modern British and New Zealand state was assuming the role of a social relief worker The majority of the citizens had a number of social needs, and since the stale had the power to satisfy these needs, the Englishman and the New Zealander considered that it also had a duty to do so. The panel said that there were two points to be considered, a reallocation of wealth by a proportional tax, and state regulation and control.
A number of speakers from the floor contended that the Social Security Tax could hardly be called a proportional tax but Mr. Galvin pointed out that the total amount of the Social Security Fund was nowhere near the bill for the services which were provided. The deficit was made up by drawing on the Consolidated Fund, which was built up by proportional taxes.
The panel claimed that the welfare state removed a feeling of economic insecurity which had previously existed in the community. Dr. Hurley made some comparisons with the American social system, and claimed along with other speakers, that the dangers of the welfare state lay in its administration, not its theory. After the panel had spoken the discussion was thrown open, and a spirited debate ensued.
The general conclusion arrived at was that the welfare stale was morally good, provided it did not assume control of citi/cns and interfere with their freedom "Better a sick freeman than a healthy slave."—P.O'B.