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Salient: Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Vol. 32, No. 7. 1969.

AID begins on quiet note

AID begins on quiet note

Twenty-Five persons attended an open meeting last week to elect a regional committee which will run the 1% AID Campaign at Victoria University.

This does not augur well for the enthusiasm with which this campaign must be adopted by students to succeed.

Whatever structures are set up, it is imperative that as many people as possible are involved at grass-roots level.

The crux of the campaign is the donation by students of a percentage of their own income to overseas aid.

This will serve as an example to the community at large and, hopefully, will build political pressure (in an election year) to persuade the government to increase its level of aid.

At the same time a worthwhile project such as the University of the South Pacific will benefit.

Before the rather chaotic election of the A.I.D. subcommittee to the Studass International Affairs Subcommittee, Mr. Alvin Arnold of Corso spoke on the idea of the 'self-tax' ovement, which has been adopted in the Netherlands with success. Holland is the only country which has reached the 1% target of the United Nations resolution.

Mr. J. W. Rowe, Director of the Institute of Economic Research, supplied useful background material on the economics of overseas aid.

He pointed out the important qualification of our position as a donor country— that New Zealand is a net importer of capital.

It was Mr. Rowe's view that a more realistic level than 1% of national income by 1973 should be adopted as a matter of strategy.

He suggested the doubling of the present level of aid, 0.3%, by the set date.

"It is wiser to be realistically on the up rather than flying high," he said.

However, students present were inclined to aim for the higher figure, which is in any case only seen as a first step in New Zealand's contribution to overseas development.

The meeting felt that the scope of the campaign should be as wide as possible.

This meant the important subject of trade should also be pursued.

Favourable trading agree-countries are perhaps of more benefit to them in the long run than direct aid.