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

Interviews — When V.I.P.'s Were Only — "Eminent Persons "


When V.I.P.'s Were Only

"Eminent Persons "

Following its policy of being interested in affairs outside the College "Salient" has in the past interviewed several international celebrities.

Back from Spain in 1938 was Loyalist Lieutenant Mr. Tom Spiller, a soldier of the best calibre, and a man in a thousand. He told how Franco was beaten in the battle for Madrid. The Fascist general gave November 18th, 1936, as the date for his entry into Madrid. "There's a cafe in Madrid where they keep a seat with a notice. "Reserved for Gen. Franco.' It's been waiting over eighteen months now, and it's still empty. It'll stay empty too!" Propaganda and folk melodies played to homesick Moors and Italians serving Franco caused them to desert and turn to the Loyalist side.

Voluble Von Luckner was treated as a joke, a hearty, happy-go-lucky German sailor who had real Lowell Thomas's book about himself so much that he had begun to believe in it. He said: "If Germany and England combine, there will be no League of Nations and no war—and the world will be ruled by the two whitest nations. And, by Jove. Chamberlain knows it—he knows how to do it!"

Under headlines, "Must control unruly China." and "Militarists ruining Japan." were reported interviews with Consuls of Japan and China.

Japanese Mr. Genji was pleasant to talk to. He condemned China's action, violating treaties, provoking attack. China harbours communist armies, rabidly anti-Japanese. Japan wanted markets, not conquests—no conflicts but co-operation and mutual understanding. Standards of life in Japan not to be compared with that of New Zealand, "We have always had just fish or rice."

Chinese Feng Wang said the Chinese Government was not communist. The Government was based on Dr. Sun Yat Sen's principles of the people. The 8th Route Army pledged allegiance to the Government, abandoned the Red Army and renounced practice and theory of violence. China was prepared for three years' war.

In 1938, as now, the expert of N.Z. brains was a problem. In an interview with "Salient" Mr. Savage claimed that his Government was already doing something about providing careers for grads in the D.S.I.R.. Geological Survey Department, etc.

Mr. Ivan Menzies was caught between acts backstage in 1941 and despite his political views he was pleasing. (He had friends who were disappointed in Russia.) He himself firmly believed in the necessity for ideals. He hoped his life work helped the need of a world where everyone shares, and stressed the importance of the morals of the individual in building a new social order.

[unclear: Scrisn], "a quiet, sincere, intelligent, little man, smoking a cigarette in an immense holder." gave his opinion on morals and the necessity for ideals. He hoped his life would not be so dull and uninteresting that he must drink himself half stupid before being able to enjoy it.

Aunt Daisy, when interviewed, caused the following to appear in "Salient":