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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 25. No. 11. 1962


I would think that radical political activity in university circles today is at a very low ebb compared with certain times in the past, in particular the late thirties and the forties when impetus was given to radical political thought by the depression and the Soviet achievements during the War.

I recall hearing of an October Group at Victoria which copied the name of a Communist group at Oxford, a name presumably relating to the October Revolution in Russia. I recall also that a VUC Branch formed part of the Wellington District organisation of the Communist Party. These Communist groups are long since defunct, and I do not know of any counterparts in existence now. An awareness of Communist influence is indicated by the manner in which the student body has steered clear of affiliation with the Communist front organisation known as the International Union of Students.

As a New Zealander I regard Communism as evil and subversive. A New Zealand Communist by conscious act when he joins the Party abandons his Loyalty to God and country and gives allegiance to an atheistic and materialistic movement operated in the interests of and directed by a foreign power. In the international field the proven duplicities of the Communist bloc countries are legion. One grim example was last year's Soviet resumption of nuclear tests at the very time that Soviet negotiators were sitting at the disarmament conference in Geneva. The Chinese seizure of inoffensive Tibet is another. We in New Zealand are geographically remote from those parts of the world where the "Cold War" is of immediate reality. This remoteness inclines us to a detachment—a tendency to equate the Western and the Communist positions, to blind ourselves to the essentially aggressive motives of the Communist, bloc and to overlook the inherently immoral character of Communism.

Brigadier H. E. Gilbert.

Who wrote this article exclusively for Salient, has been Director of Security in Wellington since 1956.

The Brigadier was educated at Wanganui Collegiate School and the Royal Military College at Duntroon. He was an officer in the New Zealand Regiment between 1937 and 1957, and served with distinction in Italy and North Africa during World War II. He was awarded the D.S.O. in 1943 and the O.B.E. in 1945. After the War he was Director of Plans at N.Z. Army Headquarters and subsequently Commander of the Southern Military District and Army Liaison Officer in London.

Brigadier Gilbert is married and has three children. His home is in Heretaunga.