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

Question Time

Question Time

Question time saw the staff of the history department with the ball right at their feet. They asked a series of provocative questions but the Professor would have nothing of all this and even refused to admit that the United States had never had a good word or action for the U.S.S.R. since the Revolution, in fact he even mentioned the little matter of the many millions of dollars worth of military supplies which were given to Russia under Lease-Lend. The littiest Beaglehole asked where the Americans got their ideas about Russia which made their foreign policy. PvD said the Eastern European drive of Russia and the fact that North Korea would never have dared to attack without an O.K. from the Kremlin, were just a couple of facts which formed a basis for U.S. public opinion. It then appeared that this was not the answer that young Tim wanted ... what he really wanted the Professor to say was that the wicked Capitalist Press in the U.S.A. fabricated lies to feed to the Emotional Hypnotised American people. The Professor didn't think so however and further said that he didn't think that the U.S. Press had a great influence on public opinion.

Professor Wood said he thought that the fact that some people in the U.S.A. agreed with others was a negation of PvD's assertion that the U.S.A. was a nation of individualists. Professor van Deusen said that he thought that the fact that American individualists agreed in their views on Russia was a very Temarkable thing, but ... (we felt he would like to add) not quite such a remarkable thing as Professor Wood. After prompting by Kevin B. O'Brien. PvD said that he did feel that foreign policy could become an issue of sufficient importance in U.S. politics as to be of major importance in the decisions of the electorate.

And that was that. We all applauded PvD very heartily and went home feeling just a little ashamed of the History Department for their puerile questions but grateful to them for having given us this opportunity to hear a very gifted speaker on a very important topic.