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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. [Volume 39, Issue 8. April 1976]

Westbrooke Challenges President Beckford

Westbrooke Challenges President Beckford.

Dear John,

The recent revelations of CIA spying on the Socialist Action league, and the Victoria University Socialist Club (the forerunner of the Young Socialist!) should have embarrassed to hell those who consider themselves left-wingers who ever repeated slanders that we are 'financed by the CIA'. Not so however for our president Gyles Beckford. On the march to protest Rockefeller's visit, we were discussing the fact that the Young Socialists now have their own magazine. Young Socialist', as well as distributing the fortnightly 'Socialist Action'. When this was contrasted with the recent demise of 'The Paper', Gyles became quite upset and started to mutter about "money from the CIA".

This type of absurd slander fits in more with the red-smear campaigns that were prevalent in the Cold War than with rational political discussion. Paranoia and enmity between left-wingers is just what the CIA and the SIS like to see: they even go out of their way to foster it. The CIA called its programme to create dissension of this type Operation Chaos, the very programme that involved their spying in New Zealand, on the VUW Socialist Club, Socialist Action and on Salient itself.

When will Gy les learn to leave smear campaigns to Truth, and to direct his energies at Rockefeller and Muldoon and their cohorts - who authorise and cover up for the secret police activities of the CIA and SIS.

— Ian Westbrooke.

Although your criticisms are valid (if the facts are true). I would remind you that the Young Socialists and Socialist Action League have had a long record of creating "enmity between leftwingers ". You may not have a very long memory, but I'm sure those in the anti-war and antiapartheid movements have -Ed.