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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 3, No. 1. 1940

Prelude to Peace

Prelude to Peace


When you are next passing the Opera House, cross the road and have a look at the monument which has recently been erected in the Manners Street Reserve.

The inscription on the monument reads as follows:

"Close to this spot, at the Te Aro Pa, on Sunday 9th June 1839a Christmas service with the Maoris was conducted by Reverend S.H. Bumby and Reverend J. Hobbs, missionaries of the Methodist Church"

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And underneath is a biblical quotation:- Whosoever shall drink of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst. John iv, xiv.

On the spot where this memorial is erected, another missionary of the Methodist Church, the Reverend O.E. Burton, recently endeavoured to speak to the New Zealand people. He had barely commenced when he was arrested by the police; he was later sentenced to one month's hard labour.

Whether you agree with Mr. Burton's views or not, every one of you must be anxious to support that Freedom of Speech which is allegedly the privelege of the people. And all of you must be eager that the University, at any rate, shall be sheltered from the savagery of the attacks on fundamental political liberties which are going on all over New Zealand.

In order to ensure that there shall be no restrictions on free speech at Victoria College, a movement is on foot to form a Peace Society at Victoria College, and application has been made to the Students' Association for affiliation of such a society.

The aims of the society, as expressed in its constitution, are "To promote interest in and discussion of problems relating to peace, war, and civil liberties". The Society will be strictly non-party and non-partisan; the Left and the Pacifist viewpoint will never be presented without a sufficient counterweight from the Right.

The Society can do nothing if you do not support it. We want your assistance. We want you to put your name on a piece of paper, and hand it in to "Salient" room, which is on the top floor of the gymnasium. Please do this as soon as you can - it does not commit you to anything. If you do not hand in your name, the level of public discussion at Victoria College will sink to the intellectual standard of a recruiting rally. It is in your hands.

Postscript to Peace.

Since the article "Prelude to Peace" appearing in this issue was written, the question of the affiliation of the V. U. C. Peace Society has been discussed by the Executive, who, by a majority vote, decided that the Society should not be granted affiliation.

The position is now, that if a majority at a special general meeting of the Students' Association decide that affiliation should be granted, the Executive must grant affiliation. That is, if you think that public discussion on questions of peace, war and civil liberties should be allowed at the College, you can come along to the special general meeting, vote on the question, and the Society will then be able to carry on its activities at the College.

An application for the holding of a special general meeting has been filed with the Executive, and the meeting will be held next week or shortly after Easter.

This is the first time since the beginning of the war that free speech at V.U.C. has been called into question, and if affiliation is not granted, a precedent will be set fox further restrictions, which will affect every student.

M. Mitchell

J. Winchester

R. L. Meek

For the Peace Society.