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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 33 No. 12. 5 August 1970

Dear Mr Harcourt,

I must apologise for not replying to your October letter earlier. It seems to have become inserted accidentally with another paper and lost until I was checking through last year's correspondence yesterday. We deeply regret this error as it has always been our custom to answer all mail promptly. However, in the best of circles small errors always creep in, and we hope you will forgive this one.

I've enclosed for you a copy of the original Aims & Objects on which the party was formed. Apart from altering the reference to Country Party and rural voters it will remain exactly the same for the party under it's new name 'Liberal Reform Party'. I would draw your attention to our Aims. These are what we stand for and all our policies are based on these standards.

Next I've sent you my pamphlet used for the Marlborough by-election to give some information on the development of the party to that date. On the back page is the main policy structure.

Finally, I've enclosed a copy of the summary of the Second National Convention just held in Hamilton. This added up-to-date resolutions on current problems. Between them all you will get some information on us. If you require any further details we will be pleased to supply these.

I have no idea where your interest lies in the field of political economy. We are essentially a free enterprise, free trade group. We know it will take time to move in that direction and have short term policies to enable groups adversely affected by present controlled systems to survive until sufficient support can be created for more freedom in N.Z. The Free Enterprise Society has transferred all it's activity to the Liberal Reform Party and will function through it. We realise that unless free enterprise is defended politically it will be completely smothered under the weight of bureaucratic planning and control. We also realise that few people in N.Z. now know anything about free enterprise after 35 years of a government controlled system. Thus it can only be defended and cultivated as a political group now.

We have worldwide affilliations with research groups overseas who can do most of our research much better for us simply by membership. With all resources being concentrated in State hands here neither the knowledge or funds exist any more for independent N.Z. research. Anyway they are so far ahead of us overseas we would be wasting time and effort. All we need is to adapt their knowledge to our own problems and so get the benefit of their efforts. If you are interested we can supply the names of overseas groups you can subsribe to for these studies. All our policies are based on such studies.

We have changed our name because we now know that New Zealanders suffer from a complete mental barrier between town and country. We called the Country party that to represent the whole country. But all newspapers and most town people merely labelled it as exclusively confined to farming interest, and declined to take any notice of the wide ranging reform policies, covering as they do the main issues of N.Z. affairs. Thus the Convention decided to change the name to one more acceptable to all occupations. We know that lots of people in the towns and cities want the principles and ideas we stand for and we hope that under this name we will get a little more of their interest. Of course it is extremely difficult as most political knowledge is on a headline basis these days. Very few people study anything deeply. The government monopoly of radio and T.V. reaches most people and they have shown very little interest in giving us the opportunity to explain our ideas over these mediums. Most of the major newspapers are owned by National Party leaders or members. They too keep most of our ideas out of their columns. Thus few people get the chance to hear a reasonable explanation of them. We need far more competition in news media for N.Z.

We thank you for your inquiry and once again apologise for the delay in replying.

Yours Sincerely,

Cliff. S. Emeny.

I promptly wrote back to Mr Emeny inviting him to read the 6 May supplement—particularly the article on the Country Party—and comment on it from the Liberal Reform Party's point of view. I should recall at this point that the Country Party was described in the Salient article as "a loose coalition of extremely conservative groupings". Of Mr Emeny himself it was reported that "we were reliably informed that 'if you go to Stratford you'll get more than you want'".

Mr Emeny's reply reached me within three or four days of my letter to him.