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Salient. Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 26, No. 7. Tuesday, June 18, 1963

"Student Press Freedom Infringed" - Auckland

"Student Press Freedom Infringed" - Auckland

Craccum, Auckland's student newspaper, has been taken over by their Executive, according to a letter received from former editor Bruce Babbington.

Recently Craccum published an article by Kurt von Meier, Auckland lecturer on the History of Art, in which he criticised the architects' work on the new £26,000,000 building programme in general, and the Elam Fine Arts Building in particular.

Von Meier described the costly new building as "a masquerade of architecture. It is devoid of human warmth, puerile in a design sense, and if only a Joke or a sporting diversion, then expensive enough to make it a very poor joke indeed."

He said: "It is frustrating in the extreme to think of the maximum possibilities that the building could have been with the exciting programme of a school of fine arts, with rich natural resources and with an incomparable site. It makes one angry to think of the minimum that the building should have been, and all that we have is a grim and sterile forbidding of things to come."

The architects, Beatson, Rix-Trott & Carter and Co., retaliated with letters demanding a retraction from von Meier. He refused.

According to Babbington, the AUSA president Rankin intimated that Babbington could publish the next issue of Craccum. Then changed his mind, assumed emergency powers and appointed a new editor. He said he wanted to control every word in Craccum.

Babbington felt the principles involved—that of free informed criticism—was being put to the test.

It is expected the AUSA will soon publish an "abject apology" (Babbington) in Craccum having already done so on their own behalf by letter.

"The freedom of the University Press has been drastically interfered with," said Babbington.

Last minute information from Auckland reveals the apology has been published.