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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 7. 1965.

Not Wanted Here?

page 6

Not Wanted Here?

A Few weeks ago Miss Winifred At well experienced some difficulty in obtaining permission to enter New Zealand for a concert tour.

Mr. Shand explained the incident away by blaming a young New Zealand official in Australia. This "lad," to use the Minister's term, evidently misunderstood the whole situation. The whole affair was to be regretted.

And so we come closer to home. The facts of another situation are on the front page of this issue of Salient and they make interesting reading. Frank Stone, a visiting American student, wants to extend the validity of his temporary permit. So he visits the Labour Department. And he gets a reply, reference number H.O. 216420. "Dear Sir, I refer …" and a bit later

"I am prepared to extend the validity of your temporary permit if you send me evidence …" and further on again "I should make it clear to you that a further extension beyond 15 December will not be granted."

The writer is obviously not to be trifled with. He writes in the first person. "I am prepared … I refer … I should make it clear …" The letter gives the impression that while he is writing for the Secretary of Labour, it is the writer who has made the decisions.

What we know is this, L. A. Irvine is a grade V clerk in the Department of Labour. He is 23. He was appointed to the permanent staff in December, 1960. And his top educational qualification is School Certificate.

And this apparently is the person who has decided that, come December, Frank Stone must leave the country.

A copy of this issue of Salient is being sent to the Secretary of Labour, the man to whom Mr. Irvine is responsible and in whose name Mr. Irvine writes. The Secretary is asked whether Mr. Irvine has the right to make the decision to toss Frank Stone out of New Zealand, and he is asked whether Mr. Irvine made the right decision. Furthermore, the Secretary is offered reasonable Salient space to make any comments that he feels would be appropriate.

He might care to say whether it makes sense to throw out of the country a visiting American student, who can and does add so much to the life of the community, and who is supported entirely from home with hard U.S. dollars.

One thing is for sure. The Secretary of Labour will not be able to attribute this whole business to some "lad." The imperious writer in the first person is no anonymous lad. He is Mr. L. A. Irvine, grade V clerk, Labour Department.—G.E.J.L.