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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 29, No. 13. 1966.

Society Not For Butler

Society Not For Butler

"Salient is making a mountain out of what's not much more than a mole-hill," says Mr. Fairlie Curry, president of the Democratic Society.

He was asked by Salient to comment on last issue's exposure of Australian rightis Eric Butler, who spoke at a Democratic Society public meeting.

Mr. Curry calls the article "unfair and illogical."

Commenting on Butler's neo-nazi and anti-Semitic opinions, Mr. Curry, one-time member of the now-defunct Anti-Communist League, said, "He may have said these things, I don't know, but he didn't mention anything of the kind when I spoke to him."

He suggested "He's probably mellowed a lot since then."

Butler, Director of Australia's "League of Rights," was supporting speaker with Ron Gostick, leader of the Canadian Christian Action Movement. The meeting was widely publicised by newspaper advertising and a circular which was sent to National Party branch secretaries, churches and many other groups, including the University National Party Club.

Although Butler was here to rally support for Smith's Rhodesia, Mr. Curry pointed out that at the meeting he was asked to confine his speech to the Communist threat in South-East Asia.

Another Democratic Society executive contacted Salient to express distress at the article.

He said the Society did not know in advance that Butler was coming with Gostick, and was unaware of his background.

Both he and Mr. Curry were at pains to dissociate the Democratic Society from Butler's background as exposed in Salient.