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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 13, No. 3. March 16th, 1950

Books or Baccy?

Books or Baccy?

Sir,—New Zealanders, for all their human yearnings for security, had decided that Socialism's drab, regimented version of Christmas was a pain in the neck."

—"Time," Dec. 14, 1949.

If you read the full story of the N.Z. elections to "Time" headed "Revolt of the Giunea Pigs" you were lucky, because this magazine (the only reliable commentary on world affairs promptly received in this country) is not freely obtainable by the ordinary purchaser. Reason—dollar shortage! But is this a valid reason? The stock excuse for any shortage used to be "Doncherknowtheresawaron?" "Time" is freely available for new subscribers in Australia, but against New Zealand there is the tag "Renewals Only."

Restrictions also cover all imports of books and publications from the U.K., with a hidden handicap on the N.Z. buyer. Mr. Nash, when Minister of Customs, told the Booksellers' Conference that licensing did not restrict the stocks of educational and special books. The trade's reply was that, while this was true as far as it went, it took a great lot of trouble to secure a special license, so that (unless the book was in demand) the very existence of restrictions dissuaded the bookseller from going to all the bother of proving his case, if his quota had been used up. If there were no more licenses, he would order more special books more freely.

The new Minister of Customs, Mr. Bowden, has stated that overseas funds are not sufficient to remove the restrictions. But Mr. Bowden, what about cigarettes? There are plenty of imported ones available. Plenty of nylons too. Another million pounds or so spent on books would greatly please, our Minister of Education, and would surely not ruin N.Z.

"Socialism's drab, regimented version of Christmas was a pain in the neck." What about soothing this particular pain, Mr. Bowden?

—One of the Gullies Pigs.

(Our correspondent may have his "Time"; we would not have the inclination. While we feel that the quota for imported books could be better used in bringing in textbooks and almost unprocurable modern classics, the plea for more books fits well with our idea for a VUC bookshop.—Ed.)