Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Student's Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 3. March 19 1968
Sir—It is time the student body rose up in protest at the prohibitive price of textbooks. We are at the mercy of the sharks of commerce. Thirty pounds is a normal price a student can expect to pay to furnish himself with the required textbooks. There appears to be no relationship between the listed price and the real value. I found one Stage III text retailing at $5.40, $6.00 and $6.60 respectively at three different shops. Without denying the owners of the means of distribution the profit appropriate to their capitalist station, I feel that if one firm can extract a suitable profit from a price, then so can the others without lashing out for another 22%.
I would like to see an enquiry made into relative prices between firms and into profits in general. If the results show that excess provts are being that excess profits are being students, then the possibility should be investigated of the Student Union or some University body buying from the publishers and selling to the student at minimum or no profit, the textbooks required for all courses in the University.
Mass student action forced the government to become aware of our bursary needs. The time has come again for such action to prevent our imbalances being rent asunder, by the grasping tentacles of commerce.
Paul T. Callaghan.