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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 14, No. 13. October 4, 1951



Platts Mills said that the Western governments were telling their people that Russia did not want peace, and was preparing for war—what were the facts?

1.In December, 1950, the American ambassador to Moscow, Admiral Kirk, said that according to the best of his information (and his job is to find out) there was no sign of any special military, preparations in East Germany and Russia.
2.The "Economist" recently stated "It is clear that Russia has not started to re-arm."
3.Pastor Niemoller said in May, 1951, that he could find no evidence of extensive militarisation in East Germany.
4.It is often said that the Russians have never demobilised. On February 13, 1951, Mr. Attlee held that the USSR had 2,800,000 men under arms and at the same time stated that the Soviet Union had never demobilised—a curious remark when everyone knows that Russia had at least 15,000,000 men mobilised during the war. Strachey, in Dundee very soon after this, said that the Soviet Union had 4,500,000 men in the forces. Mr. Shinwell did better still and increased the number of Russian divisions from 175 to 200 in the course of a week. "Men who make statements like this are thoroughly disreputable. They rely on the fact that in our day, with mass propaganda and distortion people no longer consider seriously what they are told in the paper. It is the telling of the lie that is the important thing, because if you have the propaganda machine, then the man who tells the truth cannot catch up to you."
5.On May 15, 1951, the United Nations Council for Economic and Social Affairs published a long series of statistics showing that in man- hours and percentages of budgets utilised for defence purposes the USSR expenditure was well behind in proportion to that of the Western countries.