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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 32, No. 18. July 30, 1969

David Williams (law)

David Williams (law)

Two wrongs will never, I believe, make a right.

The Arab-controlled government in the Sudan may be committing atrocities against the Southern Sudanese but just because "liberals" vehemently attack South Africa and say little about the Sudanese docs not necessarily invalidate the criticisms of South Africa.

The North Vietnamese Government may be dictatorial but this does not necessarily invalidate criticisms of the United States' and New Zealand's intervention on behalf of the Saigon regime.

I would suggest, furthermore, that just because the World Council of Churches calls upon the United Stales to stop the fight against Communism does not mean that it has necessarily allied itself with protagonists of Lenin's anti-religious sentiments.

The world does not exist in such black and white terms and there is not really an all-embracing "liberal" crusade led by intellectual hypocrites with only the few Jim Mitchell's to point out The true facts.

I reject Mr. Mitchell's contention that the "liberal" has his values mixed. It is germane to note that New Zealand has more commercial and sporting contacts with South Africa than with Liberia or the Sudan. It would seem to be logical therefore to focus one's attention on the extreme forms of racial discrimination practised in South Africa.

The Vietnam question is very important to New Zealanders because our government supports the Saigon regime. It would seem to be logical therefore to concentrate on the deficiencies of that regime rather than the Hanoi government, especially as it is often argued that we are fighting to preserve freedom and democracy.

Mr. Mitchell spends some time on people who have changed their minds and criticises "liberals" who castigate the present South African leaders for their Nazi sympathies during the Second World War. It is surely relevant to note, however, that in their enthusiastic pursuance of apartheid policies the South African leaders are exemplifying the same attitudes that one would expect a Nazi sympathiser to have.

I would suggest that it is not moral blindness which leads to the alleged "selective indignation" of "liberals". It is a matter of setting an order of priorities.

The situation in South Africa is a clear case. One need look no further than the statute books to realise that the whole basis of South African society is the enforcement of the separation of "European" people from "Bantu", "Coloured" or "Asian" people along tines which make it blatantly clear that "Europeans" are racially superior.

In view of New Zealand's many links with South Africa this gross attack on human rights is something we all ought to condemn.

This last point raises the question of the intolerance of "liberals". I believe that I must be intolerant of attitudes which deny the essential equality of man with man. This does not mean that people expressing these attitudes should be suppressed.

The motion I moved on the Chief Justice, for example, did not seek to force Sir Richard Wild to change his mind or alter his statements. It did, however, seek to censure him for what he said and for what he overlooked. I find it difficult to understand how this is contrary to the university's aim to allow "free acquisition of knowledge by free debate in a free society" as Mr. Mitchell claims. Rather, I would have thought that it was a contribution to free debate.