Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 13, No. 3. March 16th, 1950
No Man's Land
No Man's Land
In Future, no latter will be printed when the text is longer than 250 words: that is, excluding the address and the signature.
On second thoughts, the letters will be allowed in—we don't want to cut anyone out—but will be stopped short at the 251st word.
This rule will be absolute. If you exceed the 250 word limit, only the first 250 words will be printed.
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.)
Sir,—It was with considerable horror that, I observed your completely pussyfooted editorial in the last issue of "Salient," but I must say that I like the polite and refined way you insult people. Moreover, I agree that if would do no harm to have a statement, advanced by the Executive in explanation of their otherwise incomprehensible activities (or alternatively, their comprehensive inactivities).
Nevertheless, to anyone who wishes to complain, the remedy is in their own hands; They can requisition a special general meeting and dispose of the Executive in the time honoured fashion. And I must say that the omens for this purpose are particularly good, as it would appear that an Executive will this year be forcibly removed from office. In fact, it is many years since two consecutive Executives have exercised such security of tenure of office. Using the long established mathematical progression of 6:8, etc., it is to be believed that something Big is to happen this year. If one Executive was nearly expelled in 1946, and one was expelled in 1948, we can only believe that it will happen again this year.
Because of the instability of our Student Society, it is self evident that any, endeavour to halt the march of events will only be postponing the inevitable. Let us then get it over early in the year, so that we can settle down to a sort of five-month plan for study.
Do it now!
(Even if our correspondent is sufficiently nitwitted to mistake the politeness of our, editorial for pussyfooting, our reasonableness for rudeness, and our impartial comments for insults, we will attempt to remain polite just long enough to mistake his incomprehensibilities for irony, and his waverings and weaknesses for wit.—Ed.)
Sir,—The report of the Congress which appears in the first issue of "Salient" for 1950 is so partially true as to be blatantly misleading. For most of us, the Congress was a supremely valuable experience of the fulness of a University, even though only for a short, time. If anyone wishes to know what I mean, let him ask some of us who were there at the Congress.
In this letter, I merely deplore the distortion of the report.
Answers to Correspondents
A.W.C. Regret that we cannot answer your query or give you a ruling on this without infringing the secrecy of the ballot and possibly, who known, jeopardising the career of the gentleman concerned.