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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 14, No. 5. May 24, 1951

A Great Deal of Dirty Politics

A Great Deal of Dirty Politics

The report by the (Commission) Commonwealth Consultative Committee which met in London in September and October 1950 begins thus:

"The people of Asia have long felt the pressure of poverty and hunger. While the realisation of self-government could not of itself relieve this situation, it has made possible a new approach to the problem of raising living standards through the vigorous development of national resources."

The Report and admission it makes by way of explanation is highly instructive at the present time. It has become fashionable of late, particularly among British Cabinet ministers to say: "Yes Britain has been very wicked in the past in oppressing the peoples of Asia but now it is different." It is necessary at least, to pretend that the conscience of the Minister of State for the Colonies is free, enlightened and socialist We recognise the obligation to reform our ways—let us go forward together into the wonderful future, arm in arm with our coloured brethren—like the proverbial policeman—guide, counsellor and friend."

The rosy hues of this picture diminish into something much more anaemic, when the plans are examined more closely.

Over the last five years the French Army has dug 90,000 graves for its own men, not to speak of its losses in wounded. In Malaya the intensity of the struggle has not developed to the same extent but there, security forces of 100,000 men are hard put to it to maintain order and "good" government. Formosa and its waters are being protected and demilitarised by the forces of America, and Korea you know about already.

Major-General McClure of the American Army Air Force and a member of the Military Government of Korea for four years after 1945 himself said: "The South Koreans hate us; in fact they hate most white men." Their reluctance to be liberated by the United Forces is explicable. It would seem that here is a paradox. On one hand the Trade Union of Oppressors vie with one another in slaughtering their subjects with Napalm and white phosphorus, and on the other seem to be interested in promoting their material welfare. What then are the facts of the matter?