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

..Letter to the Editor

..Letter to the Editor


Sir,—Canon Green proved very eloquent, and a lot of people who had thought that marriage meant coconut palms and tropical moons got from him a glimpse of the reality which is the sacrament of marriage.

It was a pity, therefore, that Canon Green went even further than the famous Resolution 15 of the 1930 Lambeth Conference, and said: "The use of scientific and other means of birth control in marriage is not wrong, though not particularly desirable ... in some cases, birth control could be justified, but not for purely selfish reasons."

For rational creatures human morals are not judged according to desirability; they are either right or wrong, according to whether they conform or not to the natural law.

The tragedy of Lambeth is that expediency, once allowed, extends indefinitely. This is what happened when the blessing was given, however, reluctantly, to divorce. The total number of divorces in England in 1945 was 15,221, nearly twice as many the following year, and 34.217 in 1949. At the time of the Lambeth conference one marriage in 100 ended in divorce: in 1949 the ratio was one in 11.

As the "Daily Express" wrote at the time of the conference: "Birth control is approved under the shelter of piety. Divorce is condemned—and reprieved. So the resolutions follow the tortuous path of compromise until there is hardly a single item of the moral code dealt with which could not be construed according to individual discretion . . . ."

The tragedy comes, as it is coming to the populations of N.Z., the U.S. and England, which are barely reproducing themselves, when the absolute law is replaced by each individual's consideration of his own comfort. Moral anarchy has never worked, and even Canon Green's eloquence could not put up a case for it, or disguise the fact that too many of the Protestant churches are content to follow instead of lead.—

I am, etc.,

Freedom Under Law

Cause for Wooden Spoons?

Sir,—Being entirely in agreement with the sentiments expressed in a recent article, "Are You a Telegraph Pole?" which appeared in Salient I can but take a dim view of two incidents which occurred recently at the College.

The first was a meeting of the Historical Society to be held on Wednesday, September 12 in B2 which was to be addressed by Professor Beaglehole. The meeting was timed for 8 p m., but there was still no sign of anyone at ten past, when I left in disgust.

The second incident was the Annual General Meeting of the Tennis Club. This was advertised for Tuesday, September 19. I went along to A4 on both Tuesday and on the 19th but not a single official turned up.

It is bad enough having telegraph poles at the College but when these telegraph poles are club officials who do not fulfil their obligations then something ought to be done, and done smartly.


Van Deusen on Foreign Policy

Sir,—Your pugnacious reporter nodded when listening (if he did listen) to a question I addressed to Professor Van Deusen, and has achieved a complete misrepresentation. It is not surprising "that some people in the U.S.A. agreed with others." I however quoted Professor Van Deusen's remark that 95 per cent or more of Americans would agree with a certain clear cut view of world politics. It seemed to me that 95 was a high percentage of agreement for a nation of individualists to reach and that it was reasonable to seek some explanation of this phenomenon. Does your reporter disagree? And incidentally, does he regard as "puerile" anyone who feels any doubt whatever as to the desirability of accepting in every particular the line of dominant American opinion on the problem of how to live in the same world with Russia?

F. L. W. Wood