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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 9. 1965.

Bishop Baines

Bishop Baines

In suggesting a perspective towards this problem, Bishop Baines, of the Anglican Church, outlined several goals at which the individual should aim. Firstly, he should seek to learn the facts: institutions such as the Government, the universities, and the churches have a responsibility to pass on as much information as they possess. In this connection his Lordship expressed approval of the idea of a "teach-in."

Secondly, the individual should discuss the facts, form an opinion, and contribute towards public opinion by participating in the general debate. This derives from the Christian obligation to be involved. All possible avenues of solution should continue to be explored, even if government action has favoured a particular line. A responsible citizen should support his government, but if he disagrees with its decisions then he should use all the constitutional means within his power to change those decisions.

Efforts should he made to maintain personal contacts within the countries involved to prevent the situation from freezing up. This can be done especially through students studying in this country, and through them to their families and friends, convincing Asian peoples that Christians here are vitally concerned about their welfare.

As a final goal, his Lordship suggested that every possible effort should be made to increase relief aid simultaneously with any form of military assistance.

The first and most fundamental need of the Vietnamese people, the Bishop believes, is freedom to frame their own constitution. This is not possible while they are subject to Communist infiltration, which creates a pattern of terror and ruthlessness in an attempt to promote revolution.

The Bishop witnessed this same pattern in Malaya, and feels that anyone who has seen it and lived under its threat will know what the South Vietnamese need to be saved from, and why they asked for assistance. However, his Lordship recognises that military means alone cannot achieve a settlement, and New Zealand must use its influence with the United States to press for negotiation and free settlement.

The progress of Malaya since the defeat of terrorism is evidence to Bishop Baines that there IS a way of life free from Communism in which the Asian peoples can find satisfaction, in the same way that European nations can.