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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 20, No. 12. August 15, 1957

Noisy Echo

Noisy Echo

For battle to take place at all, noise must emanate from at least two directions. Mr. Powles is, therefore quite wrong to infer from what I said in "Spike" that I assume that all the big political dust-ups at V.U.C. have been "engineered" by the Left. in fact, nearly all of them have been the flotsam and jetsam of the tides of history which insist on flowing on outside our ivied walls and don't seem to be able to help having some effect within. Sometimes, as I remarked, the issues on which battle has been joined look a bit unreal from the perspective of a few years, and assume a pathetic similarity to the battle between the chivalrous old gentleman and the windmill. But the ultimate issues were real enough—issues that were dividing the world outside, the sort of issues which have been battled over at universities for as long as there have been universities.

Which brings me to the second assumption which Mr. Powles ascribes to me—that the championing of good causes by the Left is "a matter of far-seeing doctrinal policy." I have never considered the question in just that form. But I know it is true that it has been the organised groups of the Left which have espoused these causes, and while they have won support for the causes themselves quite outside the organised left, it must remain a sterile question whether, if there were no organised Left, these issues would ever have been raised at all—because the existence of an organised Left has been determined by the nature of the University and of our tunes as much as by anyone's conscious act.

Finally, some points of fact. There was in my article no "studied repetition of the name 'O'Brien it occurs exactly (and necessarily) twice in five pages. Nor did I (as Mr. Powles docs) suggest that the opposition to the Left manifested by that dynasty was prompted by a "vindictive" spirit. Kevin and Maurice O'Brien were both very able student administrators, and I am sure their political views and activities were always perfectly sincerely motivated.

I should like here to apologise to the Social Democrat Society for the misstatement that it did not have a quorum for its 1957 A.G.M. This was based on a misunderstanding of a report concerning the Free Discussions Club, whose A.G.M. (quorumless) was held the same night.

There is also a misprint in the third line from the foot of page 43, where "Society foreign policy" should read "Soviet foreign policy."

—C. V. Bollinger.