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SMAD. An Organ of Student Opinion. 1933. Volume 4. Number 5.

The Legion in "Committee."

The Legion in "Committee."

Feeling that we might like to join the Legion, we accepted the kind invitation of the Weir House contingent of this body to a meeting at St. Michael's Schoolroom, Kelburn, on a recent evening. We now think it our duty to enlighten students of V.U.C. concerning the nature of a projected coup d'etat which, we fear, may be in store for them if certain vague hints intercepted by us, in spite of secret signs and mystic ceremonies, are to be believed.

The first item was a review by an emissary from G. H. Q., whose mission was to prove that democracy is in danger the world is heading for autocracy, Italy had Mussolini. Russia had Stallin, Germany had Hitler, but New Zealand had Campbell Begg. Hail, Campbell Begg! In a moving trumpet-call to action (so moving that six people found it necessary to leave at this stage, leaving 33 present), he asserted the Legion's intention to save New Zealand for democracy. Beneath this demagogic smoke-screen, however, we discerned a subtle "twist" which made itself apparent when we heard the Chair-leader's statement that no discussion would be permitted, the reason given for this strangely dictatorial decree in so democratic an assembly being that it was merely a "domestic" meeting, the real business of which was now disclosed as the election of staff officers. As originality was lacking, it was only necessary to confirm to the provisional officers in their positions, and the election of the General Committee next engaged the attention of those on parade. This was solved by the masterly expedient of everyone nominating everyone else, so that the vote, when taken, proved to be unanimously in favour of all those nominated. A difficulty now arose, as it was found that a members' Sub-committee had not been provided for, and the only thing to do was for the General Committee, as the gathering had now become, to elect itself en masse, as a sub-committee; it subsequently went on to elect itself a Publicity Subcommittee, and finally saw no inconsistency in electing itself a Finance Sub-committee.

When all the committees had finished electing themselves (there were five of them all told on any of which we could have served had we the inclination to hand up our names to the Chair-leader), the Finance Sub-committee wheeled its cohorts into action, the point on which attack was concentrated being the brilliant idea of holding a bridge (-party) at the Kiosk. This was fastened upon as a worthy objective, and legionaries frantically vied with one another in guaranteeing tables. Trouble, however, appeared, and the main body nearly mutinied on the question of the sub. A compromise of 2s. was decided upon, and the deck was then cleared until the time comes for launching a further attack in this new sphere of activity.

We would like to join the Legion, as we like bridge, we would like to entertain the Ladies' Subcommittee, we have already helped the Publicity Sub-committee by this article, and we helped the Finance Sub-committee by donating our lucky halfpenny—a donation for two—it was all we had.

What really is troubling us, though, is how we could justify our election to the General Committee (necessarily entailed by membership), assuming, of course, our nomination was accepted when we had proposed ourselves. Although you will admit we have undoubted qualification for the sub-committees (unless you doubt our word when we say we made a donation) we doubt whether we could assist on the General Committee, where so many more worthy than we will bear the heat of the battle. We have accordingly decided not to join, firstly because we only play bridge badly, secondly because we cannot hope always to escape the hat at the door, and lastly because we have not the time to attend all the committee and sub-committee meetings that will be necessary. Bridge and committees have advantages which appeal to us, but to escape their toll on our time, our pocket, and our self-respect (we like to be nominated, not merely to hand in our own nominations) we have decided not to join. What will You do? Will You join?—or have you?

J. A. Co.

A. McG.