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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 8. 1965.

Reply From Labour Dept

Reply From Labour Dept

My Attention has been drawn to the article headed "Yankee Go Home," accompanying photographed letter, and the editorial in Salient of June 15, 1965.

I do not propose to deal with the snobbish editorial written from such a dizzy height above mere school certificate.

First I shall make a general comment. Many people who, for one reason or another, are not suitable for permanent entry to New Zealand endeavour to use temporary permits as a lever. We have good and well documented reasons for keeping entry permits under very strict supervision though I doubt if we are quite as strict as some other countries such as the United States. Also, the consequences of over-staying an entry permit can be so serious to the individual concerned, again in countries like the United States as well as here, that the conditions upon which a permit is granted have to be stated with particular clearness. This is done in the best interests of the recipient. There is also a considerable difference between a letter which is no more than a follow-up or confirmation of an interview where the points have been more fully discussed and a letter written in other circumstances.

The letter in question is not "imperious." It is a business letter following an interview and should not be read apart from the context of the interview. The letter is explicit and the recipient would have cause to complain if it were not explicit. It is a letter from the Secretary of Labour irrespective of who signed it. It gives correct information. It is clear on all points on which the recipient has a right to expect clearness The function of a letter is to be adequate to the particular circumstances. In the light of his interview Mr. Stone found the letter adequate and said so.

Mr. Stone applied for a permit to stay in New Zealand until December 15, 1965 and was granted a permit for the full length of time applied for. He has made no other application that I am aware of. His mind was set at rest on April 21. By letter of April 23 he expressed his thanks in generous terms and there has been no subsequent complaint from him. He is going home at the time he nominated. It surely takes a lot of immaturity to get an emotional boil-up out of such a humdrum set of facts.

In my experience it is a normal courtesy on the part of the Press when dealing with allegations of such a kind to check with the Department before and not after publication. Representatives of the Press are always welcome in my office. I have found them responsible and confidence-worthy, and their questions are answered as fully and frankly as possible.

M. S. Woods

Acting Secretary of Labour

June 16, 1965.