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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 11, No. 7. June 23rd, 1948

Sir Howard Kippenberger Considers World Situation

page 4

Sir Howard Kippenberger Considers World Situation

"There is no likelihood of war in the/near future," said Major-General Sir Howard Kippenberger when addressing the Historical Society last week on the "Balance of Power." Sir Howard was optimistic. It was obvious to him that Britain did not want war, and there was no evidence to show that either of the two major Powers, the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R., were prepared or preparing to start a war.

History had shown, Sir Howard said, that man had no difficulty in keeping order in communities of a moderate size. The rulers ruled and that was that. But there was a difficulty in keeping the peace between different countries. Various attempts had been made to secure peace in the international field, one, by one ruler ruling the whole world, such as was tried by Alexander, another by Federation as in the U.S.A., and a third by "just rubbing along." This last gave rise to the theory of the Balance of Power. When asked which of the three he favoured. Sir Howard replied that the "one ruler" idea would not work and that the Balance of Power was a dead loss, so the only real hope for a lasting peace was in some system of federation through United Nations.

Quality of People

Manpower is still the most important factor in deciding the balance of power, the speaker stated, and he went on to enlarge on the importance of the relative qualities of manpower. Given equal scientific and industrial facilities on both sides in a war the quality of the people on one side or the other was the deciding factor.

The meeting then attempted to interpret the present world situation in terms of the balance of power theory, and inevitably the relative merits of the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. dominated the discussion. Though he said that he did not intend to try and judge between the two. Sir Howard replied to one questioner that if a struggle broke out, which was unlikely, it would be a draw. Some members asked for his ideas on the Western Bloc but he said little more than that if it were established strongly, it would be a stabilising factor in the world situation.

To sum up. Sir Howard said very little, which was probably what he intended to do. He outlined the theory of the Balance of Power, applied it to present world affairs, and left us very much in the air.

He did, however, do one thing. He gave us his opinion that we need not fear another war in the near future, but he assured us that we would all have to work hard to preserve and to improve the peace we have.