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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31 Number 14. June 25, 1968

No tradition for violence

No tradition for violence

Sir—Alister Taylor's statements on the political, moral and intellectual timidity of students in the issue of Salient would seem to be founded on a false premise. I contend that the political and moral attitude taken by people towards a governing body is determined by environment and temperament. New Zealand students, on the whole, do not inherit a tradition of revolution and demonstration to gain their desires. Because of the relative political stability of this country volatile reactions are extremely rare, and leaders in almost every field rely on protracted negotiations.

I do not wish to say that the wielding of student power would be a bad thing. The present negotiation setup usually results in lukewarm compromises which have little lasting effect and give even less satisfaction to student needs. What I am saying is that until those in power become accustomed to more violent means of obtaining concessions it is simply not feasible to use those more violent means.

Yours till the Junats fall,

R. S. Lawrence.