Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. [Volume 39, Issue 8. April 1976]
Although we were informed prior to leaving New Zealand that there would be 3 workshops and 3 commissions at the Assembly the workshops never eventuated. The delegates were divided among 3 commissions - Human Rights, Development and Administration and 'The Future of WAY'.
Both myself and Errol Millar attended the Administrative Commission. This commission discussed the Secretary General's report, a masterpiece of vagueness and side-stepping. For me the classic statement in this report and one which says much about the nature of WAY's activities is "the Latin American office of WAY has continually harrassed dictators, where appropriate." (emphasis added).
This commission also discussed the accounts and financial position of WAY. Without money from US AID agency the total budget of the 'International' organisation for the year 1976-77 is US $32,000.
Thus other agencies are going to have to be approached for funds. If these approaches are unsuccessful it is my personal opinion that the possibility of WAY receiving further money from US sources cannot be discounted.
When it was drawn to the attention of the commission that we should also be discussing a draft budget for the next triennium and we did not appear to have one, the treasurer rather embarrassedly pulled a crumpled, pencilled-on piece of paper from his pocket.
This was hastily photocopied and circulated to the assembled masses who, although it was hardly legible, were able to deduce that this 'draft budget' did not add up. Looking even more shamefaced the treasurer hastily collected the copies.
Next day another 'draft budget' appeared. This one added up because $500 from sale of publications had been added to the income. This draft was approved by the commission but a New Zealand delegate was heard to comment that she was interested that the treasurer's skills as a salesman were such that he had sold $500 worth of publications overnight.
Most of the time of this commission was taken up with discussion on changes of definitions, in amending the charter. These, although important in themselves, almost monopolised the limited time the commission had available and I feel we did not come to grips with many of the really important issues, such as WAY's relationship with regional organisations like the Asian' Youth Council and the Council of European National Youth Councils, and how it can reinvolve Asian and European countries in its activities.