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The Spike or Victoria University College Review

The Spike — . .or. . — Victoria College Review

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The Spike
. .or
. .
Victoria College Review

The Spike

The Editorial Committee invites contributions, either in prose or verse, on any subject of general interest from students or officials connected with the College All literary communications should be addressed to The Editor, Victoria College, Wellington.

Subscriptions are now due, and are payable to Mr. J. McDowall, Financial Secretary, Victoria College.


So, to begin at the beginnin,
An' come direcly to the pint,
I think the country's underpinnin,
Is some consid'ble out o'jint.

—The Biglow Papers.

Many people of our land regard a University training as incapacitating a man for any useful occupation in after life. It may, they admit, fit him to be a doctor, a lawyer, a clergyman; but in respect of training for any of the honest methods of obtaining a livelihood it were far better, they believe, that a mill-stone were hung about his neck and that he were cast to the bottom of the sea, than that he should enter the portals of a University.

With this opinion we do not agree. We believe that, bad as Professor Hunter assures us that our University system is, the colleges of New Zealand are turning out men, who are on the whole better citizens than are those who do not pass through the University.

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Nevertheless, the fact remains that a large section of the people look with contempt on University men.

The baneful effect, of this attitude of mind is nowhere more apparent than in the public life of the community.

The majority of our Members of Parliament are men of very meagre education. Plain Bill Jones, who informs the electors quite unnecessarily, that he will always remain plain Bill Jones, and who looks with the greatest contempt on the garnered wisdom of older countries, is generally regarded as the man best suited to guide the footsteps of our infant nation.

One at least of the bad results of this belief will have been realised to the full by anyone who has had the misfortune to be obliged to study the pages of Hansard.

There are numerous men in Parliament who are incapable of making a logical and intelligible speech. There are very few who. having made any special study of Economics, History, Legislation, are able to give ideas to their more ignorant brethren, and to illumine the sometimes super-Tatarean darkness of the Parliament chamber

While such a condition of affairs exists, it can scarcely be maintained that we have arrived at that state of perfection in matters Legislative towards which all nations should be striving.

Then, again, the Parliament of New Zealand has been accused by some of having passed a mass of hasty and ill-considered legislation, which would never have been enacted, if due regard had been paid to the lessons of history. The truth of this charge, we do not intend to discuss. It, must, however, be admitted by all, that no body of Legislators will, if it is progressive, avoid all errors. To quote a platitude: "Mistakes are the foundation stones of any progress." An educated Parliament will, however, be much more likely than an uneducated one to profit by the experience of the past.

If, then, the Legislation of a country is a matter of

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Students Association Executive

Students Association Executive

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some importance, it would surely be a not unduly rash experiment for the people of this land to choose for once a Parliament of men who are at least not satisfied in their own ignorance.

This however, cannot be done unless University men are prepared to take part in political life.

There is, then, it seems to us, a clear duty laid on those University men, who have the ability, and the opportunity, to offer to serve their country in Parliament.

The aspiring University candidate will probably find at his first venture, that the people do not want him. He should not, however, be discouraged, for he can at least rest assured that it was not lack of brains which kept him out of Parliament. If he will deliberately determine that he shall enter the Legislature, he need not be afraid but that he will get there.

In advocating a Parliament of educated men, it is not to be supposed that we believe that education makes a man perfect. It won't prevent a man from being a thief or a liar: it won't prevent him from accepting bribes or corrupting constituencies. There are University men in New Zealand who are adepts in some of these gentle arts.

What a University education will do, however, is this: It will make the honest Legislator better able to carry out his object namely, the advancement of the well-being of his fellow citizens.

It is the duty of those electors who desire the best legislation to see that educated men are chosen to represent them at Parliament.

It is the duty of University men to see to it, that the electors have chance of choosing them.

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