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Salient: At Victoria University College, Wellington, N. Z. Vol. 24, No. 10. 1961.

"Ravings" by R.S.A

"Ravings" by R.S.A.

Sir,—I read with considerable agitation the most recent ravings of the R.S.A. on the subject of national defence. For shreer diehard woolly-headedness this takes a lot of beating. If, or rather when the Government acts upon it, it's back to good old C.M.T. for us. Now, when we have a labour shortage threatening us and the economy is in rather precarious straits, they are going to sap our manpower and increase military spending, to interrupt careers and splurge on toys; for adults. New Zealand needs compulsory military training and an increase in her forces like she needs a gold-plated battleship. Any army in this country is an expensive anachromism we cannot afford. The existing army is quite capable of meeting our so-called commitments overseas, and in the event of a major war the proposed compulsory training would be in any case completely worthless. How much better to meet our commitments to mankind by devoting this wasted money to the under-developed countries, if better uses for it can't be found at home.

But no. Petty party pique, R.S.A. pressure, the need to keep doddering service chiefs employed and the temptations of puny nationalism and militarism will apparently prove stronger than Mr Holy-oake's claims of "sound, progressive government." The clock will be put back in yet another field, unless (oh vain hope!) the public wakes up and protests. If a couple of hundred students would disobey the call to arms when it comes, they would be doing New Zealand a greater service than an infinite number of conforming trainees could ever hope to accomplish.

Yours faithfully,

J. K. Murphy.