Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 5. 1965.
Sirs,—The Law Faculty Club committee has requested that we reply on its behalf to the report of the Faculty's Agm in the edition of Salient dated April 13, 1965. There are four points raised which require comment.
The writer refers to the majority which favoured the anti-boycott motion and states that it was "probably due to the fact that only the group backing the motion was aware of its impending introduction at the meeting." In actual fact no more than 10 or 12 of the majority knew of the proposal. Does the writer's remark imply that if it had been widely known then the boycott supporters would have thronged along to the meeting? Surely any person interested in a club's affairs should attend its Agm.
Secondly, we cannot see that this motion was of an "unusual nature." The whole campus at the time was alive with proposals and counter-proposals, arguments and counter-arguments and it could well have been expected that reference would be made at a Club Agm held at that time to the boycott movement. Such an item as this can surely come under the heading of "general business" and does not require prior notice.
The third comment to make is in connection with the newspaper reports. The Faculty committee assures you that the Press had no foreknowledge of the move. The motion itself was not finalised until half-way through the day of the meeting.
Perhaps the sketchy reports are indicative of the lack of public support for the student boycott and therefore the Press was not prepared to devote much space to the issue.
Finally, we would like to make the point quite clear that it was not the intention of the mover and seconder of the motion to imply that they disapproved of student feeling on the questions of fees, bursaries and accommodation: the motion was aimed directly at disapproving the method used to bring these questions to the notice of the Government.
P. von Dadelszen.
For the Committee.
We wish to thank the mover and seconder of the motion referred to for their comments.—Eds.
Sirs,—On behalf of the organising committee I am writing to correct a report in your issue of April 13 stating that the Victoria University Council had declined to support the forthcoming Science Student Conference. The origin of this unfortunate statement is unknown to us, but I would like to state here that the Council have in fact approved a substantial donation which will greatly assist the committee with providing a varied and stimulating conference programme. The committee are grateful to the Council for their support and hope that you will be able to correct readers' understanding of the situation.
Congratulations, incidentally, on your Science feature innovation. This step should help to keep the Science-Humanities gap from widening too far.
Robin A. I. Bell.
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.