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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 14, No. 12. September 20, 1951


Chunky, greying Professor van Deusen (the most respectably dressed member of a history Department that has ever been seen at V.U.C.) addressed an interested audience of about 55 the other evening on the subject of "American Attitudes to Foreign Policy." Research-fellow Beaglehole, making one of his rare appearances on a lecture platform introduced Professor van Deusen by telling is that everything that could be possibly said about PvD by way of introduction had already been said before his previous meeting ... well here he was anyway. There was no applause. Unfortunately I had not been present at the previous lecture and so was left in the dark about the speaker. As it happened this did not matter for PvD in the first few minutes of his address clearly showed that he was a highly qualified historian, an excellent speaker and one whom New Zealand was fortunte to have in our midst thanks to the Fullbright Grant which has made his visit possible.

In the first place the Professor is quite clear that anything he had to say would in no way bind the United States Government and further that he was going to interpret the subject "attitude to foreign policy" as the "Attitude" to the cold war.

He told us that the basic point of view of the great majority of the people of the United States could be stated as follows:

A conviction that now and in the future for a considerable time we must face a hostile Soviet Union.

A belief that the U.S.S.K. is hostile because of the adoption of the following points of view by the Soviet leaders:

That conflict between capitalism and communism is inevitable.

That all means are justified to soften up the Capitalist states and hasten their decay.

That a Communist victory is inevitable.

That the U.S.S.R. does not want war now but that the controlled rotting of Capitalism can bo done without war.

That the Communist theories of hostility have added to them the age-old Imperialist drive of Russia.