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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Student's Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 6. April 9, 1968

Letters To The Editor — Salient on dominoes

Letters To The Editor
Salient on dominoes

Sir—you slate in your Domino theory editorial that "the real tragedy is just that the policy (of America in Vietnam) has failed." Only three lines before that you stated that that policy "is inspired by misguided self-interest and executed with bumbling atrocity". Surely it is no tragedy when a policy with these as its main characteristics fails. This sounds more like poetic justice to me. Every sane and decent person applauds the fact that it has failed, applauds the fact that for some period a portion of those suffering under that policy will cease to suffer, and applauds the fact that Lyndon Baines Johnson, satisfied with having earned the reputation of the worst and most deceitful U.S. president of this century, has at last heard the cries of the dying and of the growing numbers of protesters.

You also speak absurdly of the results of American victory in Vietnam and suggest that under a stable right-wing regime "a few of the Vietnamese people would have been satisfied and the vast apolitical majority acquiescent". You think that after Diem, after all the outside interference and oppression. after Ky and Thieu, after napalm, after phosphorous and anti-personnel bombs, after seeing homes and childrens' faces reduced to charcoal . . . after seeing "the moral, cultural and economic lifeblood of Vietnam sucked dry" that the vast majority of the people of South Vietnam would be "apolitical" and "acquiescent"?

You then sum up your ignorance by suggesting under a right-wing government of any sort "the real business of living would have gone on". Vietnam has had many right-wing governments and the injustices were so great, the wealth was concentrated in the hands of so few and the majority of the population so poor that revolution was the result.

So basically this part of your editorial says two things; firstly, that the peoples of South Vietnam would accept a right-wing government of some sort after it had won the war, secondly, that people who are being bombarded with the most atrocious war methods in the world, maltreated by the worst political methods in the world, under the worst social conditions in the world do not realise the horror of their condition and they have very few ideas about their future and how it should be conducted.

Its only a humble opinion, but firm convictions on these two things by the South Vietnamese and their determination not to make any compromise on them seem to me to be important reasons for the continuing horror in Vietnam.

Ross Smith

[The basic difference between Mr. Smith and myself is that I believe that the Right acts in good faith. It may well be that there are faults in its policies which doom them to failure.—ed.]


Sir—As a student of journalism. I can tell Tony Jaques that the story about the "littleold-grey-haired-couple" who sent the donations to the P.P.P. conference is the sort of human-interest story that any newspaper would not hesitate to run.

If he has any valid criticism to make of the conference, why doesn't he make it instead of stooping to the emotional tactics he accuses them of?

Horribly yours,

A. M. Catterall.


Sir—It is good to see a cookery column, but the advice re cooking vegetables recently was somewhat misleading.

M. Longouste advises filling a saucepan with water, adding lots of salt, and when it boils, tossing in the vegetables.

I agree that the water should be boiled first, but salt should be from to Ɛ teaspoon for each pound of vegetable. (Mental visions of people using up the whole shaker prompted me to add this!)

Use as little water as possible. Minerals, certain vitamins, and the natural vegetable sugar essential to the flavour dissolve in the water. Therefore the more that is used the more of these that will dissolve.

The idea is to put about ƈ to 1 in. of water in the pan. Boil, then add vegetables. These will cook in the steam because there is not much water. Thus the vitamins etc. are saved. (Remember to put on the lid!)

And last—if you do use too much water, save it for use in soups or cocktails. Is delish!

Yours faithfully,

Lisa Strong.


Sir—I wish to disclaim any connection with the activities of Paul J. Wedderspoon on this campus.

Although on a very few matters we may hold the same views, we definitely do not have the same motivations.

It is also emphasised that the march organised by the V.U.W. Friends of Vietnam, supporting the South Vietnamese, and opposing the V.U.W. Vietnam Peace Committee demonstration, had no connection in any way with Wedderspoon's deputation to the Prime Minister.

I remain, etc.

Jim Mitchell


Sir—May I through you, sir, address your columnist Outside Left: Look, Sonny, I would say, when you're reached your 12-year reading levels you'll be able to read and understand the correspondence columns of Salient for yourself. But I will tell you now: Bruce Mason stated clearly in his letter that Act was breaking even. (Pause for prayer and thanksgiving.)

Also, when you grow up and go to university you will learn to compare like with like; then you will know not to compare the ratio of advertising to text in four copies of Act with one copy of N.Z. Stage. For your information, this was the last one and Stage has this year been incorporated in Act.

The time and place to complain of the make-up of the accounts of an organisation is at their annual meeting, not in an unsigned column in a contemporary publication. If Outside Left is so concerned about ACT, why does he not offer his service in obtaining more advertising for them, whipping up circulation, proof-reading etc.?

Marie August.

Sweet nothings

Sir—Re Jon Boyes' letter on S.C.M. Bookstall (2/4/68), he can take his sweet sympathies and shove them fair up his . He isn't $5 out of pocket for nothing.

W. J. Watson.

Inaugural service

Sir—If Mr. Jennings had read my letter carefully he would have realized that I did not miss his point that the spiritual part of one's nature cannot be isolated from one's whole personality. What I was trying to say when I mentioned dentistry was that if one is prepared to devote one's life to the care of the spiritual needs, or teeth, or whatever do not exist. I agree that spiritual needs are difficult to define and that they cannot be dealt with in isolation from a person's character, circumstances etc., but at the same time I do not suppose that Mr. Jennings goes to a chiropodist to have his teeth attended to.

It seems that Mr. Jennings and I do agree that the Church is not indispensable within the university, though I must own to being a little suspicious of his term "total participation". Mr. Jennings will have to define his term "total participation" before he can ask others to agree that only this is worthwhile.

My remark that wisdom is not acquired by anyone lacking a sound not joyous Christian faith was made in the first place to indicate that I am a Christian, and secondly and more importantly, because I considered that Mr. Jennings was guilty of watering down Christianity to suit the agnostics in his congregation and at the university, in saying that wisdom is the only end in life, Let me affirm that wisdom is a by product of a life lived in accordance with Christian principles and that only such a faith can give the humility and perspective necessary for the acquisition of wisdom. If Socrates, Job, Buddha, or any other non-Christians were wise, then may I be impertinent enough to ask how much wiser they would have been had they been Christians? After all, Mr. Jennings, Job himself said: "The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom". (Job 28: 28).

Janice N. Eames.

Arbitrary definition

Sir—It seems the new N.C.C. chaplain, the Rev. Peter Jennings has a penchant for playing with arbitrary definitions so that he may be wrongly quoted in part.

To make the rather naive point that he would like to see the church in a more active role in the University than merely administering to souls (the mereness of this role seeming to follow another well. known pop theologician*, Prolessor Geering), he has so confused his reporter as to have him think that man has no spiritual need whatsoever.

To say that the only measurable property of man, or the University, or whatever, is that he is man, or the University, or whatever, is to reduce one's powers of observation to such a basic level as to be useless However this revolutionary idea seems the only basis for deciding man's lack of spiritual need.

It seems man's chief end is now wisdom, not an essentially new idea. However, the relationship between wisdom, moral calibre and works (without which wisdom/faith is dead) is not clear, or are professorial deviations excused by that other arbitrary definition academic freedom?

Perhaps next week's exercise is to play with definitions of the word "spiritual".

* theologian-magician.

A. D. Rae

[I think you will find Mr. Jennings was not wrongly) quoted—ed.]