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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 16. 1972

Medical Supplies or Cricket Pavilions

Medical Supplies or Cricket Pavilions

$2,000 was voted at last weeks S.G.M. to the Medical Aid Found for North Vietnam, but desperate attempts are under way by the right wing to prevent the funds from leav-ng the Studass coffers. An S.G.M. called for Wednesday 19th July, will consider a motion to prevent any donation being made to the Vietnam Aid Appeal or any of its associate bodies.

The motion is moved by an aging law student Henry Stubbs, who tried all other avenues before deciding that democracy itself might even stop the money. But the real man (?) behind the moves is apprentice-capitalist John Mowbray. Stubbs and a few more of the forces of reaction at first tried to pull off a Supreme Court injunction to stop the flow of funds, but obviously ran up against the proverbial brick wall. Its pretty bad when the law itself seems in league with the commies. Anyway, the situation as is stands at the moment is that the Executive have already signed a post-dated cheque for the $2,000 which they will cancel if the motion at the S.G.M. is supported.

Why Help Patch Up Commies?

But let it not be said that those who want to deny the Vietnamese people any of our good clean money have no constructive alternatives for the money. Patching up children etc. is all very well, but charity begins at home and apparently the sports clubs are just desperate for a pavillion in Kelburn Park. If the $2000 donation goes ahead then plans for this venture could be set back a little.

But it seems as though its not the actual amount which annoys those who have called the S.G.M., but the principle of giving any money to the Vietnamese, why else have they asked that 'no donation' be given? So it looks as though the lines are fairly clearly drawn over attitudes to the war in Vietnam.

Its surprising in a way that good humanitarian New Zea-landers should take that sort of attitude over medical aid really. Even the National Party Government was trumpeting around a few years ago how good it was that our boys at Qui Nhon were patching up ail-comers be they commies or not. And that was when our own troops were shooting at and being shot by Vietnamese.

The money for medical aid will be collected over the next few months in New Zealand and will then be sent to the Medical Aid Fund for North Vietnam and P.R.G. controlled areas of the southern zone, which has its headquarters in London. The money is spent there on medical supplies which are then shipped to the North of Viet nem.

The War's Over, Isn't IT?

The war, as Mr. Franzheim said the other day after being attacked by 70 people who don't believe all the U.S.I.S. tell them, is 'virtually over'. It is of course, even forgetting the appalling costs in human life of continued U.S. bombing (and that shouldnt be hard for the right wing) by no means all over. According to ex-minister of War David Thompson the war this year will cost us $2 million. This figure, given that the estimated total cost of having troop; in Southeast Asia this year is $12,850,000, is almost certainly a gross underestimate.

New Zealand is still involved in the destruction of the Vietnamese nation, and it is costing us an awful lot. No matter how much money we give in the form of medical aid we can never wipe off the shame of our involvement. The D.R.V. and P.R.G. continually assert their solidarity with the people of the western countries, while reiteratint their undying opposition to our governments. Many New Zealanders have now decided that its about time we show ed some tangible solidarity with the people of Vietnam.