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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 25, No. 10. 1962.

From The Left [Letter to the editor]

Sir,—We are a number of independent students including some left-wingers who to protest at Mr Maxwell's column "View from the Left." Though we do not question Mr Maxwell's to have a column we most emphatically question his right to become the self-appointed spokesman of the left.

His odd compilation of gossip with unfounded and almost McCarthy-type assertion grossly maligns not only the left but any independents and radicals who consider there are bad defects in our societies alms and attitudes. It is a pity that Mr Maxwell does not follow his cynic's practice and introduce facts and figures into his writing. One would think that a student who has been hero on and oil since 19S1 would have a more mature approach and a greater [unclear: depict] of understanding of social and political problems and happenings. Parts of his column indeed are so nasty and small-minded as to nauseate any person who sets value on objective thinking and reasoned discussion.

To quote:

1. "Persistent rumour . . . that he (Governor-General) has bought cars at factory price with overseas funds and sold them al handsome profit."

The writer then suggests that the Government should take action to squash the rumour. Perhaps the best way would be to prosecute Mr Maxwell for publishing a criminal libel.

2. What a fine bouquet of left-handed compliments ho finds for Mr Hackett.

"Colourless uninspired and unprepossessing" . . . Neither has he (Mr Hackett not Mr Maxwell) impressed thorn (Parliament). The Deputy Leader also by Implication lacks ability and intelligence

Ono hopes that his party hierarchy will not take disciplinary action against Mr Maxwell for belittling the deputy loader of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Finally, the paragraph headed "Back Stabbing." This is more startling for the ignorance it reveals than for the information it imparts. The press reactions to Menses' and Marshall's visits and statements were at best tolerant and at worst irritated by the pair's interference and concern. At this stage it is likely that Mr Marshall can do anything more than the permanent officials are already doing In fact, it is a typical political gesture beloved of both parties, one that creates an Illusion that the government is being active and enterprising when it is mere sound and fury signifying nothing.

We cannot consider Mr Maxwell as of the "Left." It is not in talking about happenings that are far away and which we can only marginally effect but it is rather in the day to day problems of the University that we can truly see whether a person is "Led" or any kind of radical. Mr Maxwell has failed dismally here, for ho has not taken a radical line himself. But ho almost always supported in autocratic and right-wing Executive; its actions and policy.

We ask that the column be renamed so that Mr Maxwell is no longer able to suggest that he has the confidence of the Loft, or to masquerade as its spokesman.—Yours, etc.

G. V. Butterworth,

M. C Rowlands.

J. F. Turner.

D. S. Tossman,

Joseph Fliegner.

W. Dwyer.