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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 33, No. 6 6 May 1970

[Letter from D. A. Gartner]


I am being steadily convinced that the All Black Tour to South Africa should eventuate. The negative attitude portrayed by the majority of persons in suggesting that the Tour be stopped is a reflection of homogeneity in thought current throughout New Zealand.

Victoria University is no exception to this pattern I am sad to say. It purports to be an institution where issues are debated logically to produce hopefully coherent arguments for and against the issue. I am afraid the assumption was debased at the recent 'Racism' debate between Mr Rata and Mr Mitchell relating to the proposed All Black Tour. Not only did the audience obviate their minds and reason to the proposition that the AH Blacks 'should' go to South Africa, but in doing so they contradicted the very essence of their presence at a university.

With due respect to Mr Mitchell and his ideological beliefs, the toleration of which supposedly forms a basis in any democracy, he presented a view abhorred by many New Zealanders, namely that apartheid is an acceptable clause in the Rhodesian system of government. Rebellion to Mr Mitchell's beliefs was evidenced throughout his speech. This is irresponsible conduct.

It assumed firstly the superiority of the minds of those present within the audience (or rather the superiority on the shepherds within our society). Secondly, the rebellion was antagonised by issues peripheral to the topic to such an extent that at the conclusion of the debate no fundamentals for or against the Tour could be found. Lastly, I noted a negative attitude toward finding any conclusions on the debated topic.

Why do I support the Tour? Negatively; because as yet I have to find a concrete reason why I should not support the Tour. The "injustices within the apartheid system" are not necessarily "injustices of the system". Positively; because I feel we, as an integrated team of compatible races, can show the whites and blacks of South Africa that unity can be acceptable to both a black person and a white person.

D.A. Gartner