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

Fanatics

Fanatics

It is in the nature of things for a Communist to be a fanatic. The Party functions on a clandestine and conspiratorial basis. It conceals its membership and its finances. Because experiences, some of them dramatic, have demon stated that many Communists tend to be disloyal and untrustworthy, it has been Government policy here and in other countries for a number of years now to exclude Communists from certain more sensitive aspects of Government work, particularly work concerned with defence and foreign relations. In a small and relatively homogeneous community such as ours, where so many people take so much interest in their neighbours' affairs, it is sometimes said that the Communists in our midst inevitably become labelled and publicly known. Experience shows that this is unfortunately not the case. The problem of identifying Communists is by no means easy. An even greater problem is the identification and assessment of persons with past records of Communist associations who retain some degree of sympathy for Communism. The answer to the question—"Are there or are there not reasonable grounds for supposing that a particular individual has or has recently had Communist sympathies or associations of such a type as to raise legitimate doubts about his reliability?" must be of particular concern to the employing authorities of the Government and, at the same time, is frequently most difficult to answer.