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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 11, No. 1. February 27, 1948

Salient's Stormy Past — Upheavals of Ten Yeats Revived

page 10

Salient's Stormy Past

Upheavals of Ten Yeats Revived

Below on this page are to be found a few highlights in "Salient's" hectic career. They are not all, but are representative. For the amusement of those who are not interested in major upsets, we also present one or two minor storms. May "Salient" always create controversy and stir just one or two more people out of their apathy.

This-Our Secretary !

"It has developed into a minor war."
Mr. O'Brien at Undergrads' Supper.

And after much childish bickering it almost seemed that truce had been reached.

But out of a blue sky descended the stork with his little bag of tricks—one letter for "Commercial Print," printers of "Salient":—

The Manager. Commercial Printing Co. Ltd.

Dear Sir,

The following is an extract from the minutes-of meeting of Executive held on Thursday, May 23, 1946:

"Moved Mr. Poole, seconded Miss Keys, that the Editor 'Salient' be instructed to publish on the front page of the next issue of 'Salient' a retraction of the editorial entitled Our Judgment,' this retraction to be prefaced by a statement expressing the Editor's regrets that he omitted to do this in the last issue. Mr. Campbell and Mr. Cohen to be responsible for seeing that this was done.—Carried."

As "Salient" is the official organ of the Association, the Executive will not assume responsibility for payment of your account if the issue in your hands is handed over for distribution without containing the matter referred to above.

Yours faithfully.

M. J. Poole

, Secretary.

Not only has the Executive, both as a body and as individuals failed to inform the Editor of this odd motion, unique in the history of VUCSA; not only on the eve of press has Mr. Poole assumed the role of Editor Extraordinary without the cognizance of a single student in the college, demanding of an amazed printer that he publish a stupifying series of statements in an issue already overset with routine reports: Not all this Without Mr. Marcus J. Poole of the Esteemed Legal Profession Descending to this Low Level of Coercion in Order to Gain his own. Ill-Deserved Ends.

Nor is "Salient" the "Official" organ of Student Opinion.

* * *

The salient points emerge from this extraordinary farrago of events:
1.The Executive has passed a most invidious motion in accordance with which the Editor is supposed to retract a statement published in the Editorial Column, a column that remains under the sole Jurisdiction of the Editor, and the opinions expressed therein the prerogative of the Editor alone, to be read and accepted as such.
2.To date, Monday 17, the Editor has not received notification of the carrying of the above motion.
3.Without the authorisation of a single person or body Mr. Poole completed in the name of the Students' Association a series of letters that Dean Swift or Frederick Engels might have envied.
4.A printer whose untiring efforts have for five years produced "Salient," unrivalled in Australasia among Student Papers for typography and quality of printing, has indicated that if this is our attitude to his work we might try elsewhere for our printers.

So much for Your Diplomacy, Mr. Poole!

Bruce Millburn. Editor.

(We reprint the above without comment.—Ed.)

"Salient" Changes Hands-1939

It all started at the Annual General Meeting when it was moved that the Students Association fee be raised to £1/10/-, such fee to include a year's subscription to Salient and one issue of Spike.

As the fight raged, a gentleman (by name of W. S. Mitchell) opposed the motion and produced seven neatly-tabulated arguments aimed at Salient's active political commentary and its very, very blassed attitude generally. A search through Salient back numbers reveals that the main bone of contention was that Mr. Mitchell had once had two letters ignored by Salient. With the objectivity of the historian we would suggest that the gentleman was very aggrieved. The editor of Salient (J. D. Freeman) then rose to the occasion and produced nine neatly-tabulated arguments (plus three sub-arguments plus statistics) why Salient should have acted in this wicked fashion and why its policy had to be biassed. Apparently one of the aggrieved gentleman's letters arrived too late and the other was irrelevant.

When the furore was at its height, Mr. Freeman offered to let Mr. Mitchell edit Salient for two issues. The challenge was accepted. The critics of Salient were in power! . . . Salient went its normal chaotic way. The standard of Journalism was no better, the general sterility pervading the articles was relieved by a few biassed letters and one or two articles expressing animosity, which for the amateur historian are the only things of interest in the issues. Mr. Mitchell in an apologetic note gave full credit to the hard work done by Mr. Freeman and his staff, and retired his team from Salient Room, still protesting a little at the blassed policy.

And the morals of the story?

a:Salient would lose its virility if it did not take a determined stand on questions of the day.
b:Salient will do its best to publish all opinions (when someone is interested enough to send in their opinions) with due regard to apace and the law.
c:Salient does not claim to represent the whole of student opinion.
d:Salient prefers a vigorous and voluntary support, and does not desire to be maintained by compulsory subscription.

Milk and Sugar?

Cartoon of two people with a tea set next to them on the floor

An upheaval of a different kind—N. Adams gives an idea of what happened when Robin Oliver and Jim Witten-Hannah were brewing tea on Ruapehu's crater. The eruption which then occurred flung them into notoriety. We publish a letter from "Salient," July 11, 1945, on the subject.

* * *

Dear Sir,—It is with mingled feelings that we hear of the attempted seismic observations of two of our tramping stalwarts, Messrs. Oliver and Witten-Hannah, and we must commend the efforts of Mr. Witten-Hannah to rescue his unconscious comrade. While we are told that their action in camping at the edge of the lake was merely the fool-hardiness of thwarted scientists with their noses to the trail, a suspicious mind inclines us to believe that a hitherto unsuspected sadism, coupled with a too inquisitive investigation of the more intimate parts of Lady Ruapehu, was probably the raison d'etre of that minx's orgasm. May we recommend our ambitious pair; let them either confine their attentions to Ngaruahoc, a male of the species, or direct their researches among the feminies of the species homo sap.

Personally, we would like to see formed a Society for the Prevention of Wanton Excitement of Volcanoes.

Pro Bono Volcanico.

Storm in a Tankard


Hamilton, The President, Students' Association.

Dear Madam or Sir,

In view of the serious situation which is exercising the minds of all women, in New Zealand in regard to the abuse of the licensing laws and the unrestricted sale of liquor, the women of the Walkato have set up an Executive Committee, as the result of a public meeting, which will be known as the Alcoholic Reform Association.

Our platform is:—
(a)We urge Government to reduce the alcoholic content of beer.
(b)We urge Government to strictly enforce the licensing laws.
(c)We urge Government to follow Australia's lead and reduce the manufacture of beer by 33 1-3 per cent.
(d)We urge Government to reduce the hours of the sale of liquor by closing the hotels on Sat-day afternoon.

As unity is strength, we feel sure that the women and men of your district would wish to co-operate with us in this matter, and suggest that you might call a meeting and present our platform. If this is supported by your meeting we would be very pleased to receive your written endorsement. This would naturally strengthen our Association so that eventually we might make representation to the right quarters, when we have gained the whole-hearted support of our women and menfolk.

We are,

Yours faithfully,

In Reply

Dear Madam,

Your letter of the 31st March has been referred to me for reply. My Executive has unanimously rejected the proposals as outlined by your Association, and I have been instructed to state that this Association is not prepared in any way whatever to lend its support to your movement.

It is considered a most inopportune time, when so many of our men are overseas—there are about 360 students from this College alone [unclear: abroac] at present to raise once again such a controversial point as an alteration to the licensing laws. One remembers with some misgivings how similar reforms were urged towards the end of last war, without our men overseas being given an opportunity to express their opinion thereupon. I may say that as the present holders of the N.Z. University Drinking Horn, the students of this College would most emphatically reject any such proposals as laid down by you, whether or not my Executive supported them.

I notice with amusement that you have not bothered to review the question of "tied houses" which, one is compelled to conclude, is probably the greatest factor against a more orderly control of the liquor trade. The [unclear: idefegs] submitted for your attention for what it is worth.

Yours faithfully,

Hon. Secretary.

Much correspondence followed.