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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 6, No. 7. June 9, 1943

No Man's Land

No Man's Land

Dear Sir,

—I notice in the library catalogue the infamous "Out of the Night" by Jan Valtin, alias Eugene Krebs. This foul piece of antidemocratic and anti-Soviet pornography is classified under, of all things, "Political Science"! Even the publishers didn't have the impudence to describe it on the dust jacket as other than fiction! As the author has recently been given five years' penal servitude in the United States as a Nazi spy isn't it high time it was removed?


Dear "Salient,"

—I was pleased to see that in your last issue the tone of the correspondence was of a far more serious vein. Previously so much of it has been of a frivolous and almost ridiculous nature, which at the present time is quite uncalled for. If the University is to share its part in the post-war reconstruction, thought should be given to ways and means now, and it seems that "an organ of student opinion" is as good a mouthpiece as any.

In peace time the position is vastly different, and articles and letters may be as trivial as you like, but with problems of such vast magnitude facing us of the younger generation, it is hardly right wasting newsprint on matters of little or no concern.

—I am, etc.,

M. F. Gray.

Dear Sir,

—Your issue of May 26th has four letters and what appears to be a demi-semi-editorial, all adversely criticising Extrav.

As a humble citizen, perhaps a little too long in the tooth, but fortunately retaining some of the verve of youth, I must say I found Extrav. well up to the standard of shows of similar character, and considering all the difficulties that must have been associated with the production, the location for instance, quite comparable with overseas efforts in that it was both typical and topical.

To say that it was a "tirade of abuse" (strong words) against our Division, our Allies, private individuals, and political luminaries, is, of course, ridiculous.

Vulgar—well, to the puritan perhaps.

Extrav. was a good show, no doubt requiring a great deal of hard work in the trying times we now live in.

Of course University life breeds a kind of self "centre-ism" in some (unfortunately), but take it from me, it will be a sad, sad, sorry day when we can't laugh at our shortcomings.

Most hearty congratulations to all concerned with Extrav., in front, behind, before, and after.

G. H. Underwood.

Dear Sir,—Some rather severe criticism of the Executive appeared in your last issue, and I would be grateful if you could allow me space to express my opinion of certain points arising from this criticism.

1.—The Holding of an Extrav.

Canterbury University College, so I am told, succeeded in staging a full-scale and very successful revue, which they regarded as providing an excellent method of collecting for patriotic purposes. At Victoria, the Executive decided that this was impracticable. The modified Extrav. which they organised has been criticised on the grounds that in wartime students should devote all their time to study. It was only too obvious, however, that the time spent in the production of this year's Extrav. was inconsiderable and would have affected the war effort much less than many other student activities. Perhaps attending tea-dancea, writing for "Salient," and listening to classical music should be relegated to outer darkness for the duration, but I personally would prefer to see attention first paid to the discouragement of the common room poker school. And although I believe that it would have been better not to hold an Extrav. this year, I hold that view not because I think that the policy adopted was unpatriotic, but because it seemed a pity to stage a poor job of work, and because it would have been unfair to ask anyone to spend the necessary time to run a full Extrav.

2.—The Executive.

Finally, I would urge those of your readers who believe that the Executive is not doing enough to further the war effort to remember that the normal duties of an Executive member are arduous enough even in peace-time; that members of the Executive have their own personal obligations to their work and to themselves; that they are helping the Students' Association to carry on at even greater personal cost than in normal years; and that the Executive will no doubt receive suggestions for furthering the war effort with more enthusiasm if at the same time they receive equally generous offers of assistance to implement these suggestions.

—Yours faithfully,

P. B. D. de la Mare.