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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 13 July 5, 1939

The Attack

The Attack

What we don't attack:
(1)Competent judges have described "Salient" as the best set-out periodical a New Zealand University College has ever had. We believe them.
(2)It can also safely be said that the College has never had a staff which has expended so much time, effort, and enthusiasm on its paper as this one has.
(3)No staff has ever had to face such tremendous difficulties, due to the almost complete lack of support from the College as a whole. Contributions have been almost non-existent in spite of almost superhuman efforts to secure them; assistance has been almost entirely lacking for routine work like proof-reading and setting up, and so the Editor and his literary staff have had to do this themselves.
(4)The literary merit of the contributions has been unusually high.
But unfortunately:

While it is true that the absence of virtues of this kind can nullify the highest excellence in matter and ideas, is it not also true that their presence is completely useless when the matter is grossly unworthy of them?

We believe that a great deal of the matter that has appeared in "Salient" is unworthy of its technical excellence and the effort that is put into it in two fundamental respects: firstly, its viewpoint is utterly in conflict with that of the majority of those who should be its readers; and secondly, too many of the articles expressing this viewpoint abound in assertions as objectionably provocative as they are utterly unproved.

Support for the truth of the first charge should be forthcoming in the articles which we are publishing in this and the following issue. In making the second we have particularly in mind the report under the caption "Glory Road" of the Rev. J. A. Linton's address to the S.C.M. published in issue No. 3, and that of the Debate on Religion in No. 6; but very many consider that it applies also to most of the political articles and some of the verse. The fact that one can hardly be expected to prove things in a piece of verse scarcely makes it any the less objectionable if it brutally tries to trample underfoot all that so many of us hold most dear.

It has been pointed out by the "Salient" permanent staff—and let us say now that, contrary to what has been asserted, we never doubted their word—that except for the letter now published in this issue, which they alleged was not relevant to the subject under discussion, no contributions or letters contrary to their expressed views were received. But that by no means indicates that nobody wanted to write. For it will be recognized that unless a reply to any point appears the week after the offending article, it loses all topicality for most readers. It was no use therefore replying to anything in No. 6 which many subscribers were unable to collect until four weeks after it came out. Again. "Salient" appears on Wednesday and letters must be in by 7.30 on Friday. What hope has the part-time student, to whom every minute counts, if he cannot get to the University on one of those days? All part-timers have practically to choose between "Salient" and swot, and who can blame them if the latter wins? Not much can be said in defence of many of those who are up here all day; but there is the fact that, quite groundlessly perhaps. A paper so one-sided in its views as "Salient" has shown itself is hardly thought likely to accept anything contrary to the prevailing tone. Thus, as letters take time and energy to write, the would-be contributor confines himself to verbal indignation, and turns to one of the many pleasanter ways of passing one's time. In these matters the die is always heavily laden in favour of the aggressor.


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