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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol 6, No. 5. May 5, 1943

The W.E.A

The W.E.A.

Dear Madam,

"Salient" is an organ of student opinion. Does this necessarily preclude a knowledge of facts in its editorials? In the issue of April l4th the editorial, after sweeping through educational history in ten lines, says:

"So with the W.E.A.—a workers' educational scheme, but how many workers attend the lectures? Take any census and you will find that 75 per cent of the attendances are by bourgeois intellectuals."

Your readers may be interested in the statistics for Wellington for 1940 and 1941, the most recent available. These are published in the annual report, which is available to anyone. These are enrolments:

1940 1941
Manual and Craft Workers 418 283
Professional and Business 199 136
Teachers 152 134
Farmers 69 36
Shop and Office Workers 251 172
Secondary School Pupils 235 103
Domestic Duties 164 223
Others (including prisoners) 264 348
1752 1435

According to your editorial writer all except the first category are "bourgeois intellectuals."

The report for 1940 shows 30 affiliations to the Wellington District Council, each of which has a representative on the Council, and through this voting power the dominant voice in governing the W.E.A. locally. Of these affiliations 27 are trade unions, 2 are employees' associations and the other is the V.U.C. students' association. "The bourgeois W.E.A." exists only in "Salient's" editorial; in fact, it functions through and for working people, most of whom have been inside a University College only to attend W.E.A. classes there.

Max Riske, President,

Wellington District Council, Workers' Educational Association.