Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 5. 1965.
Sirs,—We are grateful that Mr. McKinnon has an opinion, and even more grateful that he expresses it on the subject of the NZUSA South African Scholarship Fund.
It is perhaps unfortunate that we don't agree with his view, and no doubt we should mention his implicit distrust of "Bandwagons." Mr. McKinnon says that "Bandwagons" appear to be the latest thing at Victoria."
We are sorry, Sir, that we don't appear to be in tune with what Mr. McKinnon feels should be the students' role in the community; it's just that each of us see numerous social and political problems that need tackling, and we wish we had enough time to do justice to all of them. Perhaps Mr. McKinnon will offer us his help, and those he knows of like mind?
Apropos his attitude to the Scholarship scheme. First of all, he burbles something about "semi-pseudoistic"—a term the concise Oxford was unable to help me translate.
Then he says that the scholarship is "extremely idealistic in principle ..."... that's a pity isn't it? He claims that the policy is on "all counts unrealistic and not at all feasible." He says that one or two educated Bantu would not create the "world-shattering effects that it appear NZUSA is hoping for." It is only Mr. McKinnon's opinion that we wish to be "world shattering."
He says that the educated South African may not be allowed back into his country; we say that if not then he can work outside his country for the betterment of his fellow men. He will be one of the informed South Africans that people of Mr. McKinnon's ilk clamour for. After the revolution that appears very likely in South Africa, these educated Africans will be able to return home to assist in the redevelopment of their country.
If he is allowed back in, watched or not, he can assist internally with his countrymen's development. He will be better equipped to negotiate with his present masters, to the satisfaction of all.
We would be most interested to know more about those "many sections of New Zealand, both public and private (sporting bodies and companies are but examples) ... endeavouring by quiet but continual pressure to lead the South African Government into a mature attitude towards the problem of mixing races."
Mr. McKinnon says that "as an alternative it would be far more realistic to educate the New Zealand student to the problems of apartheid"; Mr. McKinnon, sir, we could do that as well if we had the manpower.
To follow a principle of non-action simply because a person was not 100 per cent informed, as Mr. McKinnon seems to want, taken to its logical conclusion, would mean nothing ever got done.