Salient: An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 12, No. 3, April 6th, 1949.
The Debating Society opened its 1949 session with the record number of 23 speakers debating the question that "The Atlantic Union Pact is a step towards World Peace." Eleven speakers led by Messrs. M. O'Brien and B. Talboys supported the motion, and twelve led by Messrs, C. Bollinger and J. Milburn opposed the motion. It was encouraging to see the large numbers—almost half—of new speakers on the V.U.C. platform. The speakers were judged by the Rev. Martin Sullivan, who in his concluding remarks stressed the need for conviction—real or faked—in order to get one's ideas across to the audience. He placed the first five speakers as Messrs. Talboys. Gunn, K. O'Brien, M. O'Brien and Milburn in that order.
The Meeting defeated the motion by 34 votes to 27.
Mr. M. O'Brien opening the debate for the affirmative, defined the subject told us that as we did not know the precise terms of the Pact. his arguments would necessarily have to be based on surmise, and then spoke of the grave necessity for continuance of world peace. He told us that UNO had failed, that direct negotiations had failed. It seemed to him that the answer to the question of peace lay in a system of regional organisation which Could be joined into one united world.