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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 14. July 12, 1939

[Letter from H. J. Evans. June 30, 1939]


Dear "Salient."—The immediate reactions of a rather conservatively minded law student (who was not, I must admit, present at last Monday evening's meeting) to the increase of the S.A. fee to provide (inter alia) for a general distribution of "Salient," were not exactly favourable. Was this new move, I wondered, only a legitimate act of self-expression in the part of the leftists, or the first step in their attempt to dominate the College by force? Further reflection, however, as well as a talk with one who was present at the meeting, have persuaded me that this view is hardly fair to the "Salient" staff. The chief argument, it seems, that weighed with the voters at the meeting was the fact that there was only one weekly paper at V.U.C., and that that paper. In spite of great efforts made on its behalf, was not paying its way. Accordingly, it would have either to continue in its present state of financial insecurity or be given the assistance of a general levy. The latter alternative was chosen; no self-respecting University could, with equanimity, have contemplated the former. At least, that is how it seems to me.

The question of "Salient's" administration is really another matter. Though personally I disagree with most—perhaps nearly all—of what has appeared in the editorial columns of "Salient." like many others I feel that too much apathy has been shown by those of us who consider we hold sounder views. In the circumstances it is inevitable, and perhaps not inequitable, that "Salient" should have become the mouthpiece of the Left.

May I therefore voice what I believe is a fairly general desire—that, in whoever's hands the editorship of "Salient" may be, it be (or, if you like, continue to be) a reasonably open forum. Let the College be assured that its own weekly—which has now been placed on a proper financial footing—has room for the views of every student, and there would be little cause for dissatisfaction. Better still, we might thus see an end of the bitterness which, on all sides, has been so much in evidence of late.


H. J. Evans.

[Our reply to this letter will be given fully at the Special General Meeting. It is a question of whether financial considerations are to outweigh matters of principle.—Ed.]