Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 30, No. 5. 1967.
Action will not come
Action will not come
Sirs,—It was with surprise and some concern that I read your front page story in the latest issue of Salient.
The facts of the three-cornered dispute between myself. VUWSA, and Harlow Advertising Services (HAS) are basically correct. But some misunderstanding has arisen over my plans to take legal proceedings against the Students' Association and Mr. N B. Woodhams.
When VUWSA became involved in a dispute with Has last year over agency commission. I objected to attempts by VUWSA to involve me personally in the dispute. As advertising manager of Salient, and manager of HAS, I was placed in an extremely difficult position.
I explained to the students association that although I had a financial interest in HAS, this was only a minority holding—12 per cent to be exact. I also stressed the point that I had taken all possible care to avoid any clash of interests between my two positions.
Yet despite this the VUWSA Publications Officer, Mr. Woodhams, insisted on referring to me personally, instead of to HAS, when discussing the agency commission dispute at executive meetings and in a letter to Salient advertisers.
I protested to him about this, but he refused to differentiate between me personally and the firm I worked for Following a meeting last November between the president of VUWSA and the secretary of HAS, a request from Has that I be absolved from any involvement in the commission dispute was rejected by the association.
It was at this stage that I let it be known that I intended taking Legal action against Mr. Woodhams and VUWSA.
When you rang me last week I was reluctant to discuss the matter of legal proceedings, because I was not sure exactly what form these proceedings would take. I agreed that they could possibly take the form of a defamation charge, but added that I could not be certain about this until I returned to Wellington.
I have just made a brief visit to Wellington and have discussed the points raised in your article with Mr. Woodhams, and the acting President of VUSWA, Mr. H. B Rennie. We have agreed that a clear ease for defamation does not exist, and I apologise to Mr. Woodhams for any suggestion that he may have been guilty of defamation.
—John D. Harlow