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

Mr. Norman Perry

Mr. Norman Perry

Few people are aware of the work that has been done by the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, Mr. Norman Perry. Mr. Perry recently made a trip to Asia, supported by the New Zealand Christian Churches and sanctioned by the New Zealand Government, to initiate channels of discussion into North and South Vietnam through the East Asia Christian Conference. Our country is a member of this regional branch of the World Council of Churches. Speaking of these efforts, now being carried on by Asian leaders, the Rev. J. E. Simpson told me:

"New Zealand is greatly in debt to Mr. Perry, who has taken a most enlightened initiative in this matter and who has met Asian leaders to promote discussion between the two sections of Vietnam."

This move was made in the belief that ultimately a solution of the Vietnamese problem must come from the Vietnamese themselves, not imposed from the outside. Hence the EACC aims at creating channels of communication. Unfortunately, at present neither North nor South Vietnam belong to the Conference.

As far as Mr. Perry could ascertain, New Zealand's image in Asia has not been unduly tarnished by the decision to send troops, because of the fact that it appeared to be made after quite some deliberation (like that of the Philippines and South Korea, and unlike that of Australia).