Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 20, No. 7. 30th May, 1957
And the Result?
And the Result?
Since Mr. Gair sided with the Right Wing at the A.L.P. Conference in Hobart two years ago, the militants in the Queensland Party have been after his head. Recently Mr. Gair and Caucus defied a renewed L.P. directive that he legislate to give State employees three weeks' annual leave. Then there came the Petrol and University Bills: the central executive complained that they had not been consulted, and the President, Mr. Bukowski said, that the whole Labour movement would have to bear some stigma from the two Bills. The Loft Wing of the party joined with such unusual fellows as the Sydney Morning Herald in their opposition to the Bills. Eventually Mr. Gair was expelled and formed his own party of over half the Labour members in the Legislative Assembly. Elections will he forced when Parliament meets, and the Gair Party is almost certain to face extinction. (Mr. Gair's own seat will be in jeopardy.) One would sympathise more with his valiant attempts to withstand outside pressure if he had not shown blatant ignorance and prejudice against the basic concepts of a University; if there were not such unpleasant stories of the boundaries being so rigged that a united Labour Party could not be defeated; if there were not ugly rumours about the Premier receiving or being offered money from outside vested interests; if his former associates, including his second in command had not premised as their first step if they gain office to investigate stories of malpractice, etc.
To a certain degree it seems likely that the determined and almost unanimous actions of the University, with unprecedented staff-student co-operation, and widespread public appeal, helped bring down a Government that few will mourn.
"Last week, we were a proud University.
"This week, because of the whim of ignorant and scared politicians, because of the mute inadequacy of back-benchers, because of ambitious nepotism, because of fear, because of jealousy, we are apparently doomed, doomed to an intellectual concentration camp.
"In one day a party of fools cut us off from a tradition of more than eight centuries.
"Our only comfort is that in time we are not the first to be burnt on the altar of a government's bigotry; and where others have survived to triumph, we will survive." ("Hadrian" in the 28th March issue of Semper Floreat, U.Q. Students' Union newspaper.)