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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 37, Number 22. 4th September 1974


page 14


Dear Sir,

Drawing of a knight holding a giant fountain pen

The Coalition Government under Forbes fought the depression by following the negative recommendations of businessmen—cut every possible item of expenditure. Instead of devising ways of maintaining production and incomes and reducing imports which NZ could produce, these bourgeois anti-humanists advised drastic deflation, which as history witnesses, led to mass misery, oppression, exploitation and slavery of the NZ working class. No wonder they rioted. Those least able to bear the burden were the pensioners, hospital patients, school children, widows, the family man. Yet they were asked to bear it. The poor grew poorer.

Fortunately these sorts of things don't happen anymore. But wait! This deflationary programme to beat depression has been enacted very recently. Hasn't the BBC administration drastically cut all cafeteria expenditure in an effort to cut costs? Hasn't production been cut, staff dismissed, food imports restricted? Salaries haven't been cut however. Ginger Jordan still gets his $11,000 p.a. plus a $6000 car to run a pic-shop. BBC hasn't cut his salary to help cut costs. And who pays their bloody salaries? Us poor students. And who suffers from these bourgeois, oppressive measures? Us poor students, the least able to bear the burden. Watch out G.G. and BBC, riots are just around the corner. Who will lead us?

Exploited student

Farewell old glory

Dear Sir,

The Post, Saturday, August 31, 1974:

"In an unusual comment for an American President, Mr Ford hit hard on the theme of Communist Chinese productivity, stressing its growth and increasing technology.

"Chinese productivity is gaining momentum, and the majority of Chinese are young people, highly motivated and disciplined," Mr Ford said.

"As human beings, we celebrate the rising capacities of the Chinese nation, people with a firm belief in their own destiny.

"As Americans motivated by tree competition, we see a distinct challenge and I believe all Americans accept that challenge."

"Instead of dwelling on how my team lost here in 1934," Mr Ford said, "I would prefer to advance the clock to 1974 and talk about winning against the odds that confront today's graduates and all America.

"I propose a great new partnership of labour and educators.

"Why can't the universities of America open their doors to working men and women, not only as students but also as teachers? Practical problem-solvers can contribute much to education, whether or not they hold degrees. The fact of the matter is that education Is being strangled—by degrees."

So there has been a change of dynasty in Washington. The new President, no doubt, was cultivating one of his many constituencies in this speech at Ohio State University. But his words still have a certain mint value.

Gerald Ford has gone further than most of his political contemporaries; he has recognised that America's greatest resource, its best minds, are working at odds, and have been condemned to cynicism or narrow ends. He sees that the catastrophe is ideological, and he sees with awe and admiration, like so many of us watching the Chinese experiment, that commitment to social rather than personal ends is a viable ambition for people of all kinds. He recognises the degenerate and sterile status system of the American academic class.

He has not mentioned that dedication by the people can only be based upon the example and good faith of leadership. He has not recognised that competition is the antithesis of the Chinese model, that it is a virus spreading social paralysis along with uncontrolled, indeed spectacular economic growth. He has not accepted that all the defences of the corporate-capitalist state are in its facade. Clawed brittly into the bark of an old tree, fragile in the breeze, the glistening hollow shell of a giant insect, its guts long since picked out by countless ants.

Farewell old glory, all hail the age of dedication. How many of the President's constituents will draw the proper conclusion from his daring contrast of ideologies?

Thorold May

Dear Sir,

1973 in Thailand, militant Prime Minister knocked out by students.

History repeats itself.

1974 in New Zealand, Malaysian High Commissioner, Jack de Silva, knocked out by New Zealand and Malaysian students.

This is our round.

The bell is poised ready for the second round which is going to be much tougher. Long live the Champion.


Dear Editor,

Most of us do not expect a great deal of the cafe: drinks and a good range of light (non-poisonous) refreshments in pleasant surroundings. Coffee shops all over the city manage this without the university's guaranteed clientele.

The other thing we expect is access to this refreshment at odd hours of the day and night, and on weekends.

Since the provision of these services by conventional means is beyond the financial and/or organisational ability of the Union Management Committee is there any chance of establishing something comparable to The Fishery (adjacent to Fisher Library, University of Sydney)?

The Fishery is crammed with an impressive array of vending machines which supply drinks, plus hot and cold snacks. The prices are reasonable and it keeps the same hours as the library. One person is employed full-time to top up the machines, sell magazines and papers from a rack, and provide small change.

One immediate improvement in the cafe could be a machine to dispense those cofee sachets. The coffee is not worth queuing up for.

Thorold May

Dear Sir,

Reading last week's letters column I noticed that Patrick O'Hagan had written another one of his letters concerning the inadequacy of the Union building for those who are physically handicapped. I would like to make a few points relating to this subject.

1) I would be the first to agree that the Union is badly designed, but you had better realise, Pat, that once a building is made it cannot be unmade, except at great cost. Les Slater, quoted me $20,000.

The Studass treasurer, Mike Curus, said that he had been working on it and had had a quote of $30,000. He said that both sums were out of the question. See Les about this. He seems quite interested.

2) I have not yet noticed anybody on a wheelchair in this university. I may stand corrected if I am wrong.

3) Patrick O'Hagan is sound in limb and body, as is proved by the Outward Bound course he passed last year.

I suggest, Pat, that you devote your philanthrophic efforts to some more practicable cause. Good luck.

From your old friend,

John Henderson

Notice to Students

Committee Room 2, the old Contact Room, has now a special notice board for accommodation notices. Don't scatter your accommodation notices over the university where they are lost among all the other paraphenalia. Put them on this one notice board and you will have no trouble finding a flat or flatmate.

Yes folks; deal direct, and bypass the inefficiency of the University Accommodation Service.


A letter in last week's Salient alleged that an employee of the "National Security Service" assaulted some students at a concert. The letter referred to the security agency as "NSS". Salient has been advised by a firm called Night Security Services Ltd, who also use the initials "NSS" that they wish to be totally dissassociated from the report. Their firm was not present at the Union Building on the night in question and none of their employees were associated with the assault. Salient is happy to set the matter straight.



Most of you are aware that the Hunter Building is going to be demolished in stages because of the apparent earthquake risk it poses. The Law Faculty has been advised that it will be among the first to go so at the end of this year the Law Library will have to be shifted.

What is disturbing a large number of law students is the probably re-siting of the Law Library on the sixth floor of the Rankine Brown Building. There is the impression that once there the University Establishment will not endeavour to relocate the Library as an individual entity.

My grizzle is this: representations should be made by some authoritative body to obtain a resolution that we will not have to remain as part of the Rankine Brown Library. I do not wish to evoke class consciousness between law and other students on campus, but people must realise the significance a Law Library is to law students as a lab is to the chemists.

A permanent Law Library in Rankine Brown immediately brings to mind a lot of disorganisation and upheaval. We need an assurance that with the progress of new buildings on campus we will be allocated a new hideout.

Greg Milicich


Dear Sir,

Shame on you for allowing Gordon Campbell to embarrass himself in public again. While one might agree that Downstage's arrival at its tenth birthday is not likely to be as sensational as Mr Campbell's arrival at his, surely few of your readers will have been able to avoid the conclusion that "Valdramar" is really quite a remarkable show—and almost certainly so not only in virtue of having provoked such an extraordinary display of spite and blind (deaf) aggression on the part of your emissary.

Since Mr Campbell himself pointed out that his ill-disposed statement was in no way intended to be construed as any kind of reflection on "Valdramar" (i.e. that it would constitute a public defecation rather than defamation), one wonders what prompted you to include it on a page customarily reserved for some pretence at informed or informative criticism.

Couldn't you please arrange for the catatonic Mr Campbell to have his next paroxysms in complete Cartesian privacy?

Robert McE Love