Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 23. September 17, 1968
Salient is a pill—Tablet
Salient is a pill—Tablet
The independent Catholic weekly "Tablet" has criticised Salient for its reporting of the debate "That the Pope is a Pill ".
This report, and a letter from the president of the Catholic Society, Tim Dyce, pointing out seven inaccuracies in the Tablet report. will be published in Salient next week.
Tim originally wrote to the Debating Society criticising the organisation of the debate, including the relative strengths of the teams.
Tim also suggested that the Catholic Society should have been consulted because it was "a representative of the particular body whose personnel or tenets are to be the subject of the debate".
He said this was commonly accepted practice at Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
Tim asked if it was the stall student debate or the annual religious debate.
"If it was the former my contention on unequal strength loses some of its force."
"I could ask to what extent Dr Geiringer be accepted by the University staff as an honorary colleague."
Hamish Hancock, president of the Debating Society, said "any suggestion that any imbalance in the teams was intended or came about through careless organisation, is totally unfounded."
He did say that one of the student speakers was a replacement for a much more experienced debater.
"It was the annual religious debate which was originally intended to be the staff/student debate" said Hamish.
"Because of very great difficulty experienced in getting three staff members to debate, it was decided to ask Dr Geiringer to speak."
Hamish said any suggestion that the democratic rights of a minority were infringed was "melodramatic".
"Surely Forum is a more appropriate place for minority groups to express themselves.
"In selecting the negative team I did approach a number of Catholic students who were unwilling to defend the Pope's decision because they disagreed with it." Hamish said.
"Nevertheless the negative team not only included a Catholic but also a past member of the very society Tim claimed was unrepresented.
"Not one person who wished to speak from the floot was prevented from doing so for any reason."
Hamish said the letter, although lacking any "real basis", was welcome if principally intended as a suggestion that the society should follow the English practice of consulting readily identifiable groups which had a vested interest.