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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 11, No. 6. June 3rd, 1948


John Ziman one of N.Z.U.S.A. representatives in England, and N.Z.U.S.A. delegate to International Union of Students Council meeting in Prague last year has sent Salient the text of a resolution on recent events in Czechoslovakia passed by the executive of the British National Union of Students and supported by the NUS Congress.

In response to the great interest of British students in the recent events in Czechoslovakia, we, the executive committee of the National Union of Students, have sifted all the evidence, much of it conflicting, available from many sources before defining our attitude, to these events in Czechoslovakia. We have confined our conclusions to those aspects of the crisis which affected the students of that country, taking place in that country. We regard it as fortunate that officers of the I.U.S, including two representatives of our own National Union, were present in Prague during this period, and were able to provide us with considerable additional information.

Firstly, we must comment on the inaccurate reporting in this country of the student demonstration which took place in Prague on February 25. The procession took place contrary to the Czech pre-war law that police permission should be obtained before any procession took place. Further, it was particularly contrary to the expressed wish of President Benes himself, and in fact arrangements had already been made for five elected representatives of the students to visit the President. Of the students arrested in connection with the procession alone, all were charged with merely routine administrative offences and received extremely lenient treatment while serving short sentences averaging four days. The two students arrested on criminal charges not connected with the demonstration are awaiting proper trial and have been visited by our representatives.