Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 11, No. 4. April 7th, 1948
Dear Sir,—As one of those who voted for the no-confidence motion, I might remark that in my opinion your editorial comment (Salient, Vol. 11, No. 3) quite ignores the just reason for which the Executive was dismissed.
The real question concerned neither the undoubted administrative ability of the late Executive, nor the personal convictions, as such, of its members. Whether or not those who passed the no-confidence motion had previously shown interest in the affairs of the Association is immaterial: the particular act for which the Executive suffered the vote of no-confidence imputed to all the members of the Association, political opinions of a minority. The Executive ignored the only indication of student opinion on the question, pleading as a defence the irrelevant fact that they were not bound by the decision of an affiliated body. It is agreed that as such a decision of this nature would not legally impose itself on the Executive, but insofar as it was an indication that opinion was against M. Gottwald's Government, it rendered a congratulatory message not merely imprudent, but irresponsible. It is hardly likely that at any time such a message would express the opinion of all the members of the Association, but steps should have been taken to ascertain whether it was acceptable to the majority.
The carrying of the vote of no-confidence by a large majority demonstrated that the student body will not permit its elected Executive to misrepresent it, through carelessness or any other cause, in such a serious matter. A mere vote of censure would have in fact been a victory for the Executive, but by a decisive vote of no-confidence the student body has expressed its disapproval of abuse of perogative on the part of those controlling student affairs.
R. E. Hutchings.