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Report of the Victoria University College Council, Concerning the Case of Professor von Zedlitz

[4] Letter from Professor von Zedlitz to the Chairman and Members of the Victoria College Council

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[4] Letter from Professor von Zedlitz to the Chairman and Members of the Victoria College Council.

Wellington, To the Chairman and Members of the Victoria University College Council.


Please accept the expression of my very deep and sincere gratitude for your resolution of 20th October last, in which you record your regret at the determination of my tenure of office in your service by special legislation, and make me a grant of one year’s salary in accordance with the provisions of Clause III. of the Alien Teachers Act, 1915. I accept this payment because, although it is described in the Act as “compensation for loss of office,” it may well be regarded as having been legitimately earned by me. If you had asked me to retire I could have claimed six months’ notice ; fourteen years’ unbroken service entitled me, under ordinary circumstances, to receive from you a year’s leave of absence on half­pay ; and you have hitherto, upon the retirement of your pro­fessors, conformed to the custom of continuing their salaries to the close of the academic year. I may therefore claim that the year’s salary was, for more than one reason, due to me in the fullest sense, morally as well as legally, apart from compensation.

As I have considered it right to take no part whatever in the controversy about my position, I ask your permission to use this opportunity to express my warmest thanks to the members of the Council, and to my other friends and well-wishers, for expressions of praise and appreciation, which have very greatly exceeded my deserts. But for these events, I should never have had the happiness of knowing how warmly and generously my humble services have been appreciated. I also venture to take this opportunity of thanking the Press of the Dominion, and the majority of those opposed to my retaining my Chair, who in general have been scrupulously fair in avoiding attacks on my personal character, and have readily admitted the entire loyalty of all my words and acts during the war.

Your obedient servant,

G. W. von Zedlitz.