Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 30, No. 12. 1967.
Rice most important issue
Rice most important issue
Sirs,—Shortage of rice is the main issue at present that catches both the public's as well as the students' attention.
As we all know, since the time when New Zealand Government curtailed the import of rice resulting in its shortage, the impact, of this policy has greatly affected the Asian students for the simple reason that rice is their staple food. As a result of this shortage, the price of rice soars sky high; the shopkeepers in some cases are taking undue advantage over the situation.
To make the matter worse, some of the Asian students are unable to buy any rice at all. This means that they have to change their pattern of diet, a process which some of them feel hard to undergo since they are so used to eating rice. To acquire new eating habits, therefore, is the problem that faces some of the Asian students—a problem that arises out of acute rice shortage in New Zealand.
The problem was recognised and the new International Affairs Officer, Rose Booth, organised rice supplies for the Asian students, selling it at cost price in the cafe. Different people view this move differently.
However, Mr. Corkin in his letter to Salient (July 28 issue) misinterprets the idea behind this move completely. The nature of the content of his letter clearly calls for a clarification if not a rebuttal.
In the first paragraph of his letter Mr. M. T. Corkin contends that Rose Booth has been organising supplies for "needy Asians" and selling it at cost price in the cafe, what does he mean by "needy Asians"? Does he refer to all Asians that are in New Zealand, i.e. does the term include not only the overseas Asian students but also those who have acquired New Zealand citizenship as well, or does the term "needy Asians" refer to the overseas Asian students only?
If he means the former, he is totally wrong in asserting that Rose Booth is organising rice supplies for the Asians because she did not, in fact, undertake such a business; if he means the latter, then Mr Corkin should make his intention clear.
In the second paragraph of his letter, Mr. Corkin confuses himself for the fails to distinguish between "staple" food and delicacies. This is evident when he suggests to supply frogs for the French. He also suggests fish, chips and "free" beer for the unemployed pakeha students. The implication of this statement is that the overseas Asian students are getting free supply of rice from the Inter national Affairs Officer.
However, here, he contradicts diets himself for in the first paragraph of his letter he mentions that rice was sold at "Cost Price." His implicit allegation that the Asians aregetting free supply of rice can be dismissed.
It is interesting to note that Mr. Corkin does not know what is short in supply and great demand and what is not Surely Mr. Corkin should recogrise that such things as what is not and what is in frogs, pasta, haggis, etc., are not in short supply, nor is there any demand for them. Moreover, chips and beer are not short in supply. To bring this sort of thing into his letter, Mr. Corkin not only confuses the issue but also completely misses the point at issue.