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Salient: Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Vol. 24, No. 7. 1961.

On Phipps

On Phipps

May 4, 1961.

Dear Sir,—Mr Phipps claims that a danger to our free society is presented by the public demonstrators and protest marchers who might, some day, be manipulated by the agents of a foreign state. The gravest danger to our free institutions, in my opinion, comes from the complacent attitude of our citizens, whose political apathy is a breeding ground for the authoritarians of the right and the left.

I also believe that the demonstrators and protesters are doing our free institutions some important service by shaking our a-political citizens. These demonstrators do not, at present at least, present any clear or imminent danger to our institutions. So long as they continue to be peaceful, they are a healthy sign.

I believe Mr Phipps's concern is to preserve free institutions and to foster political dialogue in a society which is rapidly becoming politically apathetic. I believe organised dissent in the form of peaceful demonstrations is one contribution to the political dialogue. Perhaps Mr Phipps has some other suggestions. I hope he would share them with us. Yours, etc.,