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SMAD. An Organ of Student Opinion. 1934. Volume 5. Number 3.



The Editor, "Smad."

Dear Sir,

The correspondence columns of your last issue oozed bilge. The main outlets were the many gaping holes in the letters from " One of Four " and " Not Equal To " (who certainly isn't).

(1) "One of Four" speaks of "unrestrained outbursts such as have been perpetrated by members of the society."

He asserts also that "attacks on religion and morality have caused the present ban."

Would your correspondent be good enough to specify the speakers and the debates upon which his statements are based, or else to withdraw?

(2) "One of Four" says it is "ridiculous in the extreme to suggest that licentious and indecent utterances can be justified by reference to the doctrine of "freedom of speech."

Would he tell us (in confidence) either who made the licentious and indecent utterances or who endeavoured to justify these imaginary bogies.

(3) "No subject," he says, "can be dealt with seriously at our debates." "One of Four" is here at variance with the opinions expressed by many of the judges at debates who have been good enough to tell us to the contrary.

"Not Equal To" argues that because freshers were not allowed to vote at the elections, they should not have been allowed to vote on the question of sending a letter of protest to the Prof. Board. What happened was not only constitutionally correct, But was, T submit, merely commonsense. For although most, freshers do not understand the problem of academic freedom as well as do many of the older students, they certainly know something of the subject. But the average fresher knows nothing of the qualities of candidates for office he has probably never met.

Moreover, the letter on which the meeting was asked to express its opinion was a self-contained criticism of quoted extracts from correspondence, and as such called for no previous knowledge of what happened last (or any previous) year.

Contrary to "Not Equal To's " statement, there was no "cheap and nasty ridicule of the dissentient voters." The views of "the Four" would have been given a better reception in the meeting (their proper outlet) than they received when they made their belaled and coy debut in your columns.

Your correspondent is in a most unfortunate position. If he was not present at the meeting he had no business to write his wretched letter; if he was present and was one of the "four," he is to be blamed for not having had enough moral courage to speak as his convictions dictated, but only enough to write a scurrilous and belated epistle from behind a hopelessly inadequate nom-de-plume.

You yourself, sir, if not as secretary of the Debating Society, then as a member of the audience at the annual meeting, must have known that parts of N.E.T.'s letter were false and libellous; and yet, as Editor of "Smad," you simply published this tissue of lies without giving those affected a chance of replying in the same issue.

I trust that you will (if time permits) give N.E.T. an opportunity of showing (if he can) that he is equal to the task of substantiating his cheap and nasty libels.

Yours, etc.


A. H. Scotney


Chairman V.U.C.D.S.

(Mr. Scotney seems to have made good use of the chance of replying he complains of not having; there was nothing libellous in the letters referred to; "Smad" will publish any reasonable expression of opinion. Mr. Scotney realised that his letter was handed in after closing date, so that there was no time for reply.—Ed.)