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The Home Front Volume II

CHAPTER 22 — Education

page 1116


LABOUR came to office in 1935 with passionate belief that for all people education was the way to a better life. That Peter Fraser was Minister of Education both measured and sustained its importance. From overseas new ideas were coming, of education being broader, less academic, concerned not only with attaining standards and qualifications but with developing a wide range of attitudes, improving the whole of living; of working through energy created by programmes geared to abilities and interests rather than by routine, compulsion and competitive zeal. Such ideas were deeply acceptable to Labour, where most rankers were educationally under-privileged and most of the hierarchy self-read: they were to be grafted on to a system already geared to compulsory education.

The government's avowed purpose was that every child should have the education best suited to his abilities, free, in State-funded schools, for as long as he could benefit by it, with equality for town and country children. There should be new schools and equipment on a scale never contemplated before in New Zealand, staffed by teachers working with freedom, understanding and imagination. Inspectors were to be not dread judges but educational leaders, guiding teachers in the freedom and demands of the new style. The primary syllabus was being reviewed, with less stress on mechanical learning, more on practical means to promote real interest and knowledge. New text books, beginning with arithmetic, were being devised. The dreary pressure of the Proficiency examination, long the target of primary school effort, had been abolished in 1936, leaving some teachers confused, but with scope for livelier, more varied work. In the August holidays of 1937 educationalists of world standing, on their way to a New Education Fellowship Conference in Australia, lectured in Wellington to crowds of teachers and students, bringing first-hand news of developments and methods. Forthwith, at various centres, branches of the Fellowship were formed to see how far these inspiring ideas could be wrought into New Zealand's system.1 Dr C. E. Beeby, leading local apostle of the new spirit, became Assistant Director of Education in September 1938 page 1117 and was to become Director in January 1940. More children were continuing into secondary education, which was no longer to be the privilege of the well-to-do or the academically able, but to be claimed by all who wanted it, from country areas as well as towns. In consequence it was not enough, as Fraser said, to provide more teaching of the academic type, designed for the gifted few: ‘Schools that are to cater for the whole population must offer courses that are as rich and varied as the needs and abilities of the children who enter them.’2 Bold minds were beginning to question the relevance of ‘Matriculation’, the university entrance examination, which parents and employers had adopted as a universal measuring rod. As the country moved away from the Depression and money became more plentiful it was widely accepted that an increasing proportion of it should be spent on education. Advancing technology was freeing hands, beginning at such basic levels as the milking shed, which at once left more energy for education and created more need for it.

New and better buildings and more equipment were crucial to the aims. School building had stood still during the Depression, so that mere leeway was formidable, while education other than lecturing and written work with large passive classes vastly increased the need for new buildings or large renovations, to bring in light and colour, smaller classes, space for libraries, equipment and practical work. By 1939 new schools, both large and small, were appearing, shaped by the new feeling, while old ones were being re-modelled nearer to current standards.

In 1936, of about 2500 State primary schools, more than half had only one teacher,3 and while about 20 per cent of all boys leaving primary school had not passed Form II, of those leaving to take up farming, New Zealand's greatest single industry, roughly one-third had not passed Form II, one-third passed it and left and one-third went on to a year or more of post-primary schooling.4 To lessen the educational disadvantages of country children, small, isolated schools were being consolidated on larger centres, children coming in trains or motor transport to share better equipment, more varied and specialised teaching and more stimulating company. By 1939 some 280 small primary schools had been closed and consolidated;5 a system of boarding allowances, 7s 6d a week in 1937, rising to 10s in 1943, encouraged those in the most remote places to board near a main school.

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The war, with its shortages of petrol and of tyres, checked the consolidation though, save for some careful minor pruning in the worst years, 1942–3, school transport was not curtailed. Building was greatly slowed, though it did not wholly stop, either in new schools or renovations. But whereas capital expenditure on school buildings had risen from £62,183 in 1934–5 to £544,759 in 1937–8 and £851,726 in 1939–40, it dropped steeply to £207,390 in 1942–3, rose again to £477,393 in 1944–5 and bounced to more than a million in the year ending March 1946.6

Not only was building delayed; some children lost schools that they already occupied which were taken over by the Army or by hospital boards. When home defence forces were suddenly mobilised in December 1941, much faster than camps could be built for them, a number of schools were used: they had ready-made, dry parade grounds, toilet facilities, lecture rooms and dormitory space if needed, though many Territorials could sleep at their homes. Some were cleared by the time schools opened in February, or soon after, but some were occupied for up to three months longer. Thus at Dunedin during February and March the children of St Clair, Tainui and Musselburgh were squeezed into other schools for half-day shifts,7 and at Christchurch those of Sumner and Redcliffs were transported to Woolston for the afternoons.8

The most intensive invasion of schools was at Palmerston North where all but two of the primary schools were occupied until 6 March. The Education Department made a virtue of necessity with a ‘bold and imaginative’ experiment, concentrating on non-written work and promoting knowledge of the children's own community. The most junior classes were gathered into the two remaining schools and several halls; the rest, about 1700 children, were organised into groups, each with its own base, often in a home, with an empty shop as central headquarters, and various places as centres for activities such as music, handwork, art, nature study, physical education, library work, reading and films. There were visits to factories, railway yards, etc; swimming and ergot gathering; in the name of community training a ‘jobs bureau’ filled a good deal of time with tasks such as odd jobs for soldiers' wives, weeding public gardens, shelling peas or cleaning silver at the hospital, and distributing anti-incendiary sand to householders. It was all described in the Education Gazette and filmed by the National Film Unit.9 Training in responsibility and citizenship was claimed, though balanced education was page 1119 not. There was general thankfulness that the children had been kept busy, though parents and the local paper also mentioned lack of real education and too much running about.10

Most schools were cleared of the Army between March and May 1942,11 but those occupied by hospital boards as auxiliary military hospitals were held for much longer. They were usually commandeered in a crisis, such as an outbreak of influenza, but what hospital boards had thus taken they tended to keep. They were reluctant to build for what they deemed temporary needs, while the Army argued that further epidemics could occur at any time. Meanwhile, parents and educationists protested that an emergency did not last two years, and that children being scattered into classrooms here and there in other schools and into makeshift quarters in halls, for months and years, was undue sacrifice, especially when for long stretches the school might house a mere handful of sick soldiers or none at all.

New buildings were preferred as hospitals. Thus Hamilton West school was taken over in 1940 soon after it was opened, the children going back to their 70-year-old building where demolition had already started. For two months after Christmas that year the new school held no sick soldiers and in response to public complaint was handed back in March 1941.12 In August it was commandeered again and remained so in spite of protest, till a deputation waylaid the Prime Minister at Frankton Junction in February 1943. He promised interest, and the school was finally restored in May 1943, after a new hospital had been completed.13

Other new schools were lost to their pupils for about a year. Palmerston North Intermediate, taken in December 1941, was vacated in March 1943.14 Marlborough High School was a military hospital throughout 1942, its pupils widely distributed, at one stage to 13 places.15 Until February 1943, when a large new block was completed at Auckland's Green Lane Hospital, Onehunga Intermediate School was converted to hospital use, largely by 66 crippled page 1120 children, their own Wilson Home at Takapuna being a military hospital from February until the end of November 1942.16 Nor were mature buildings immune: at Whangarei 16 classrooms and two laboratories were occupied from the start of 1942 till the end of 1943.17

Maori secondary schools also came within range. The Auckland Star on 25 March 1942 commented that while the Maori had no greater right than others to educational facilities, their need was greater, and that St Stephens at Bombay, south of Auckland, in training Maori boys for leadership was already doing work of national importance. But St Stephens, taken over in February 1942, was not handed back till the start of 1945.18 Its boys were fitted into Te Aute and Wesley (Paerata) colleges and some State schools.19 In August 1942 Wesley, where a third of the students were Maori, was in turn taken over, not to be released till the start of 1944, some of its students going to Te Aute, the remainder to State schools.20

Auckland Teachers' Training College at Epsom suffered a long occupation. For three weeks in June 1940, during an influenza emergency at Papakura camp, its students moved into the newly completed Mt Albert School; in the third term of 1941 in another epidemic, they were awkward guests at the University.21 In February 1942 the Hospital Board announced that the College would be retained indefinitely, the chairman, A. J. Moody, adding that the male students should be ‘popped into the Army tomorrow at 7s a day like the rest of the young men of military age. As for the female students, we need more VADs, or else they might be employed as pupil teachers.’22 The students, on £70 a year, replied that all those eligible for service were in camp or waiting to go, and that 7s a day would be princely.23 They squeezed into the Normal School at Epsom, where rooms built for 35 children sometimes held 150 students,24 while the children with their teachers were dispersed to other schools.25 From mid-1942 the Training College building was page 1121 not used as a hospital; instead it housed the Army's Northern District headquarters, plus several other Services' branches, which did not begin moving out till April 1944.26

For the first years of the war, lowered rolls to some extent balanced reduction in building programmes and in staff: the birthrate fall in the Depression lessened the intake and towards the end of the war this trough was moving through upper primary classes. There were 58 757 children in infant departments during 1938; this number dropped to 53 808 in 1941; rose by 570 in 1942, reached 57 777 in 1944, 61 213 in 1945 and 66 698 in 1946.27 In 1937 there were 207 879 children in public primary schools, 205 266 in 1939; from 1940–3 the population of these schools was steady at a little more than 204 000; it rose to 206 112 in 1944, to 209 786 in 1945, 218 490 in 1946 and 227 003 in 1947. In 1937 there were 27 931 pupils at registered private primary schools, 28 280 in 1939; rolls remained close to that figure until 1942, rose to 29 328 in 1943 and to 29 717, 30 401, 31 506 and 32 604 during the next four years. Maori village schools had 9642 pupils in 1937, 10 403 in 1939; their numbers rose to 11 009 in 1942 and to 11 274, 11 793, 12 190, 12 654 and 13 170 during 1943–7.28

Training Colleges had been closed during 1932–5, but since then entrant numbers had been increased, aiming for smaller classes and a higher school leaving age. On 3 February 1940 the Otago Daily Times remarked that though there was a ‘considerable surplus’ of teachers, they had been placed in supernumerary and relieving positions; it had been hoped that the staffs of larger schools would be increased so that no teacher would face more than 40 children, but there had been no announcement on these lines; the government presumably was waiting to see how many teachers enlisted. On 6 May 1940 the Educational Institute pointed out that there had been little improvement in the size of classes since 1935. Then there had been nine classes of more than 60 children, now there were six; then there were 349 classes of 50 to 60, now there were 343; then there were 1007 classes of 40 to 50 children, now 1150.29

Till mid-1942 education boards released almost all teachers who enlisted or were called up. This was broadly acceptable to the community, where teaching was rated by many as a ‘soft’ job. The teacher page 1122 enlistment rate of 1914–18 had been high,30 and in the 1940–1 flurry about disloyalty among teachers31 it was reassuring to point to large numbers in the forces. Meanwhile women teachers were told that they would best serve their country by remaining in their professions, resisting impulses toward more obvious war work.32 Married women who had retired were urged to return33 and all teachers due to retire were asked to stay on; by February 1942 even superannuitants needed Cabinet permission to withdraw.34

During 1941 the shortage began to show, notably among teachers of science and mathematics in secondary schools. By the end of that year the prospect of women teachers in even boys' secondary schools was contemplated, without much enthusiasm,35 and during 1942 there were 27 in such schools, the maximum for the war.36 There was also special difficulty in small, rugged schools, such as those in saw-milling districts, where rough conditions were considered unsuitable for women. In the post-Japanese entry call-up, education boards maintained that defence of the country came first, but by about May it was realised that many teachers could not be adequately replaced and that some called into the Services were merely doing routine clerical or guard work in home service camps.37 Meanwhile, on a generation of children who were growing up deprived of skilled teachers through ‘apparent neglect and indifference’, war conditions were beginning to tell.38

In mid-1942 the Nelson Board published figures showing that, of the total male primary teaching staff of 3833, no fewer than 2032 or 53 per cent were in the Services.39 The Education Department reported that by the end of the year the forces had taken nearly 70 per cent of male primary teachers and 36 per cent of male post-primary teachers.40 The Taranaki Board in June 1942, with 90 of page 1123 its 152 male teachers in the Services and six schools closed,41 decided henceforth to appeal for each teacher called up.42 The Auckland Board followed suit on 1 July and within a month the Wellington, Wanganui and Nelson boards took the same stand, while Hawke's Bay would decide each case on its merits.43 In the next few months other boards also began to appeal for their men: in Canterbury, for instance, 67 calls to service had been adjourned sine die by November.44 At the end of October all teaching was declared an essential industry, preventing movement to other jobs and giving boards more power to direct teachers where they were most urgently needed.

Apart from actual shortage, the quality of teaching fell. Those about to be called up were restless. In some schools there was a succession of relievers. Young, inexperienced teachers were suddenly dropped into responsibilities for which they were not prepared. Teachers emerging from retirement, their experience rooted in the chalk-and-talk routines of yesterday, found changes in the syllabus, lack of guiding text-books and children used to other methods, and frequently distrusted the innovations. Moreover there was scarcity, sometimes temporary, sometimes lasting, of almost everything—of paper, chalk, pencils, books, handwork, art and sports materials— which demanded economy and improvisation. A child of the time remembered, some 25 years later: ‘Our crayons were ghastly, all scratchy, and they did not colour well. School chalk drove the teachers mad. It was not of pre-war standard, but very gritty’.45 There was even an acute shortage of school cleaners, long regarded as inferior persons. The Minister, H. G. R. Mason, when this problem was laid before him, bracingly answered that we learnt by doing, that if children kept their schools clean and tidy, without the notion of leaving certain types of work to poorer people, they would bring better attitudes to the care of their cities, and the community would be less troubled by the ridiculous divisions of snobbery.46

Was education a social necessity or a luxury to be abandoned in stern times? In the community, some regarded education as expendable or rather ‘postponeable’; others felt that it would be nonsense, while fighting for the children's future, to neglect them meanwhile. Many mothers, always those most involved with the upbringing of page 1124 children, felt that this field should be their main concern in the war effort. Leaders in the Education Department believed deeply that education, especially the new education, was so much part of the moral and political principles for which the war was being fought that it must be maintained amid rival demands.47 Large sacrifices, of buildings, teachers, equipment, were accepted as inevitable, but in many minor ways the Department tried to compensate, to push on in the direction of enlightenment.

A notable instance of this was the School Library Service. In 1941 the grant for school libraries was raised from £5,000 to £15,000, with which well chosen books were assembled and circulated by the Country Library Service, concentrating first on country schools. For the first two years a small charge was made to each school, but thereafter the service was free. At the end of 1942 it was supplying 22 462 children in 402 schools; by 1945, despite the difficulty of getting books from overseas, it had 124 782 books serving 63 923 children in 1042 schools.48

Another area of advance was in physical education, hitherto a cinderella subject, dependent on the enthusiasm of individual teachers. In August 1939 an English expert, P. A. Smithells,49 was appointed superintendent of physical education, a new position, and brought in a system based on that adopted in England in 1933. He toured the country lecturing, showing films and holding short courses, explaining to teachers a system built on running, jumping, catching and throwing balls. This was designed to foster general sporting activity, and was broader and more varied than the previous staple, ‘drill’, jerky movements performed in unison by squads of children. Specialists were trained, both men and women, and, though most of the men were rapidly taken into the forces, their skills proved useful there in remedial and other training. The rest, from centres scattered over the country, zealously worked out into far-flung schools, arranging their own transport by milk and timber lorries, Automobile Association men, school nurses, commercial travellers, road services, slow local trains, even railway jiggers, let alone boats, bicycles and horses. Though often short of such basic equipment as balls and rubber-soled shoes, they spread their gospel of movement and even within the war years built up physical education from scratch page 1125 to a section with a staff of more than 50, with national recognition and, in 1944, a large, well-illustrated syllabus.50

Various teaching aids, now wholly taken for granted, were developed in those years. A library of film strips was built up, largely of British documentaries and the National Film Unit's portrayal of New Zealand industries and other endeavours. Broadcasts to schools were extended to three-and-a-half hours a week, bringing the voices of experts in music, speech training, social studies, into even remote schools, to relieve and stimulate both teachers and pupils. Some materials for arts and crafts, such as crayons and raffia, were no longer imported, but substitute activities were found with modelling clay and the spinning and weaving of wool. Spindles of varying simplicity were described and illustrated in the Education Gazette.51 Spinning wheels, costing £2 10s. each, and looms could be obtained from the Department, which also contrived local production of manipulative toys and number material for the infant rooms.52 The Education Gazette, compulsory reading for every teacher, carried into every staffroom official information on all these improvisations and innovations. Biennial grading, designed to make the work of inspectors more flexible, with more opportunity for advice rather than judgment, was introduced in 1941. The school milk scheme, begun in 1937 to give a half pint of milk daily to each child who wanted it, was widened, despite a few suggestions that by cutting it out petrol would be saved and more butter and cheese sent to Britain. As the export of apples was checked by lack of refrigerated shipping, surplus apples were bought by the government from 1941 to 1945 for free distribution to schools during March and April.

Nor were kindergartens forgotten. Though outside the State system they were esteemed by the educational élite and catered for children between the ages of three and five years, when most started school. At the war's outbreak they were modestly established on voluntary contributions plus government grants: £1 for £1 building subsidies and capitation allowances. At the end of 1940 there were 39 kindergartens and 1810 pupils.53 Teaching here was a rarified vocation: two years unpaid training and very low pay thereafter. By 1941, with only 31 trainees, prospects were desperate, and with page 1126 more mothers going to work kindergartens were more needed than ever. Government bursaries for trainees, beginning in 1942 at £50 rose to £70 in June 1944, both plus boarding allowance of £25; grants for improved salaries were made from 1943.54 By the end of that year there were 2 182 pupils in 46 free kindergartens, and 80 trainees; by the end of 1944 there were 2483 children in 53 kindergartens with 72 teachers in training.55

The voluntary organisation of pre-school play centres, which began in 1941, was also part of the new education movement that seeped in from overseas, beginning with a few crusading women who found others ready to perceive its advantages. The purpose was to help children from 18 months to five years develop happily through individual and community play under trained supervisors, plus mother helpers, with larger toys than many parents could afford, and company that neighbours and friends might not provide. Mothers would have a refreshing break once or twice a week and the fellowship of shared experience. War conditions, with husbands away or overworked and petrol restrictions curbing family movements and pleasures, heightened needs all round. Play centres, usually held in church halls, came from the co-operative efforts of mothers, who organised on committees, paid small fees (2s 6d a month, plus 3d per child per day, was usual) and helped to provide toys and equipment. In rotation mothers helped the supervisors, improving their own knowledge of child management. Equipment and standards were very like those of the Free Kindergartens, which generally were very helpful, and several supervisors were kindergarten trained. Small loans from the New Education Fellowship bought equipment.

Play centres first appeared in Wellington,56 among a group of enthusiasts that included the wife of the Director of Education and wives of training college and university teachers. Two such, Mrs Joan (F. L. W.) Wood and Mrs Olga (P. A.) Smithells, organised the first centre, opened in a Karori church hall by Mrs Janet Fraser on 24 April 1941, and within two months another group was working in Kelburn. These women were good publicists: through leaflets, a few broadcasts, and personal visits, they convinced others of the benefits of combined effort, in a society that generally believed that it was the duty of a mother who did not happen to live near a kindergarten to bring up her pre-school children unaided. A central page 1127 organising body was formed in Wellington, and during 1941–2 centres appeared in several suburbs and in other towns, notably Christchurch and Palmerston North where the pattern was repeated.57

In Christchurch, within a few months of Wellington's start, five women fired by Olga Smithells founded an impressive central committee, by no means limited to women, with the declared purpose of meeting the war-accentuated needs of mothers and children. By the end of 1942, they had four centres in action.58 Plunket-organised crèches co-operated with two of these play centres, taking care of babies nearby on the same afternoon, so that mothers could have an afternoon clear of all their young.59

By 1944 Wellington and Christchurch each had 10 centres, Palmerston North had five and there were isolated groups in such places as Hanmer, Runanga and Raetihi. Auckland's first centre, which opened at Remuera shortly before Christmas 1944, found that despite initial enthusiasm only modest use was made of it; at about the same time, a group began in Dunedin.60 For various local reasons, individual playcentres were sometimes short-lived, but the movement itself continues strongly to the present day.

Accrediting for university entrance was a major innovation during the war years. ‘Matric’, normally taken at the end of a narrow academic three-year course, had long been accepted as the necessary stamp of educational attainment; consequently many with no inclination towards university toiled with pre-university French and science and mathematics, to their own frustration and their examiners' dismay. For them, the Education Department in 1934 had instituted the School Certificate examination on a much wider range of subjects as the hallmark of satisfactory secondary education, but it failed to capture public imagination and, although its standard was no lower, it remained a poor relation of the matriculation examination.61 It was thought that the impasse could be resolved by the shools accrediting those fitted for university, leaving School Certificate as page 1128 the dominant visible target. Debate had been going on for years between schools and the university, and in 1942 agreement was reached. Joyfully, in 1943 the Education Department announced release from the fetters of ‘Matric’; broad-based School Certificate would come into its own, while those intending to go to university, after a further year's study, would be accredited with, or if not sit, the University Entrance examination, at a higher standard than before. Secondary schools would henceforth fully realise their double purpose of preparing a few students for university and the majority for immediate life and work in the community.62 The new system would become fully operative in 1945.63

School Certificate certainly came into its own, but its enthusiasts could not have guessed how persistently parents and employers even 40 years later would still cling to University Entrance, accredited or otherwise, as the desirable seal of secondary education.

Raising the school leaving age was a long-standing Labour target which the war might well have postponed. Legally, with certain exceptions mainly covered by the Correspondence School,64 children had to remain at school until 14 years old. But a child who had reached 13 years could leave school by obtaining a primary school certificate that he or she had passed Standard VI (Form II).65 The Education Amendment Act of 1920 had raised the age for compulsory attendance to 15 years but operation of this clause was deferred; it could be made effective by an Order-in-Council. During 1942 the Minister of Education had occasion to state that, while the government hoped to raise the school leaving age when the war was over and thereby prevent the employment of children under 15, this would not be possible in the current shortage of buildings, staff and equipment.66 But various public pressures, plus the government's own inclination, worked against postponement.

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One pressure was the increasing public uneasiness about employment of young teenagers in factories. There were no records of the numbers and ages of those who, without legal impediment, started regular work on farms,67 in shops and offices, or domestic duties. But by the Factory Act 1922, a boy or girl under 16 could not be employed except with a certificate of fitness from a factory inspector; only in special cases, authorised in writing by the inspector, could those under 14 be employed, and then not on, or close to, machinery.68

In 1934–5, 791 boys and 2011 girls under 16 were certificated for factory work. As the Depression receded their employment, along with others', increased, to 4462 (1890,2572) in 1936–7; dropped by about 300 through the next two years and rose again to 4546 (2139,2407) in 1939–40. The following year there were 4199 (boys 2119, girls 2080), of whom 440 (187 boys, 253 girls) were under 14 years, and in 1941–2 there were 4298 (boys 2153, girls 2145) of whom 480 were under 14.69 During 1942–3 the certificates issued dropped by a thousand to 3263 (boys 1706, girls 1557),70 possibly on account of growing comment.

For some time a number of schools, particularly technical schools, had reported that pupils were leaving early for industry.71 Many employers preferred younger lads to those approaching military service age,72 while the clothing trades preferred girls to start at 15 to 17 years, the age when they would learn most quickly.73 Reports circulated of teen-aged workers getting £4, £5, or even more, per week. These wages often proved to be exceptional or for older workers, but overtime and piecework, plus employers' keenness to get and keep labour, undoubtedly increased youthful pay packets.74 These were further improved by not being taxed: National and Social Security taxes, at the rate of 2s, rising to 2s 6d in May 1942, out page 1130 of every £1 earned, were not charged on the wages of those under 16 years.

Belief that the young were unduly affluent was widely linked with generalised complaints about juvenile delinquency. Vocational guidance officers and other concerned people deprecated early entry into dead-end or short-term jobs: ‘any mass use of young people for stop-gap or abnormal activities will but provide a problem in later years.’75 They also feared that boys and girls too immature to make progress at work might become job drifters.76 A senior magistrate, J. H. Luxford, said that some girls who left school early became social problems, again through immaturity; their numbers, though not large, were ‘great enough to be alarming’.77

The Press, towards the end of 1941 and under the heading ‘Child Labour’, stated that there were now 6000 fewer children in primary and intermediate schools than in 1936, gave the numbers of those under 16 certificated for work in factories between 1934 and March 1941,78 and stressed that a substantial proportion of these underage workers were also under 14 years.79 More attention was given to the topic a year later when Dr A. E. C. Hare, in his first survey of labour problems, published in December 1942, stated that during the previous five years, 21 000 persons under 16, of whom a ‘not inconsiderable number’ were under 14, had entered factories. In some of these, wartime extensions of overtime made it possible to work a boy or girl of 14 or 15 years 52 hours a week, for weeks on end, which could lead to long-term health damage; he urged systematic medical examinations of such young people.80

In the Auckland Star of 15 December 1942 a full column article deplored the employment of children in blind alley jobs as wholly unsatisfactory.81 A week later the Star, quoting Hare, held that the employment of children was bad from almost every point of view. At an age when they should be at school they were trying to fit into industrial conditions shaped for adults; the Labour Department's assurances of ‘careful inquiry’ into health aspects was unconvincing without medical inspection; getting too much money too soon, especially with military service looming at 18, was making young men reckless, bringing some of them into the courts, and would make discontented misfits of them when war pressure eased. Sometimes page 1131 the war was an excuse for tolerating conditions that could be avoided, and while perhaps the employment of children could not be prohibited, should they not spend part of the day or week at a technical or trade school?82 A correspondent, while generally deploring that children were being roped in to win the war, added that real child slavery existed in country districts, in farmers' own families.83 The Press also quoted fully from Hare, and pointed out that the Factory Act intended factory work for children under 16 to be exceptional, but for some years, even before the war, the Labour Department had been issuing under-age certificates as a matter of course, without probing individual cases. Its last report claimed ‘careful inquiry’ to ascertain that the health of workers was not impaired by overtime, but ‘it is not indicated how the inquiry was carried out.’ Moreover there seemed to be a conspiracy to ignore child labour; in the last five years no Minister, member of Parliament, trade union man or industrialist had spoken against it. The war was not an excuse for this silence, and even if the war made child labour inevitable, it was still possible to do much more to safeguard the health of factory children and to encourage them to continue their education. A nation that pushed a social problem of this magnitude out of sight, while claiming to lead the world in social services, was open to a charge of hypocrisy.84

Two weeks later the Press printed an article, not an editorial, which suggested soothingly that all young persons obtained jobs through the advice of the Youth Centre, a branch of the Labour Department. ‘Many wish to go into industry and are best suited for such work’; girls mostly went into light occupations such as sewing or leatherwork, and ‘among the girls there are always those who prefer routine factory work, but wherever possible they … receive training in some particular branch of a trade.’85 But it was the Press editorial of 23 December which in March 1943 stirred the governors of Christchurch Technical College, who had already asked the Minister about raising the school leaving age.86 ‘War or no war, this is a matter that should be hammered away at,’ declared the chairman, and another member said that the country was getting back to child slavery. They consulted Vocational Guidance officers, who had long advocated that no child, irrespective of attainment, should leave school before reaching 14 years. One officer said that in Christchurch since the end of the school year in December at least 43 girls page 1132 of 13 had left school, 28 going to work, mostly in factories and workrooms, and 15 staying at home, while 50 aged 14 years had gone to work and 18 were at home. Another reported that boys of 13 were going to work, and that of 819 primary schoolboys interviewed 113 intended going to work, 66 were uncertain and the rest were returning to school.87

In the House on 8 March 1943 Mrs A. N. Grigg referred to Hare's report and to the figures on the Christchurch girls; she added that it was the bright child, able to benefit from fuller education, who could gain a school leaving certificate early.88 The Prime Minister remarked immediately that he would take Hare's report with caution, he knew some of these authorities and experts too well. A few days later he added that while the numbers concerned were decreasing, it was not desirable that children under 14 should work in factories. He agreed that it was the clever ones who could leave school earlier. He regretted that the leaving age had not been raised, owing to shortages of buildings and teachers, but hoped that it would happen soon.89 On 20 March the Minister of Education went a little further: shortages had so far precluded change, but to wait for surpluses might be to wait for ever and the Department was considering means of introducing the change gradually.90 Amid the educationists' stir, one parent publicly explained the advantage of early job-getting. Advising boys to learn a trade or go to secondary school might, he wrote, be theoretically right yet practically wrong. Many families with one breadwinner were too pinched to finance further schooling, and factories had all the apprentices they could take. ‘As a messenger a boy can earn 30s a week to begin with, and acquires an inkling of business, learns business terms and business manners, and after a while has a clearer idea of the sort of trade he would prefer than he ever would at school. All this is frowned upon, to the disadvantage of needy lads.’91

Public opinion, encouraged by like proposals in Britain, was moving strongly towards the raising of the school leaving age,92 though, according to one witness, some people were ‘using the child as a political weapon to condemn the Government.’93 The Woman's Weekly of 1 April declared that the shameful facts disclosed by Hare and Mrs Grigg should have moved public and political opinion to page 1133 indignant action. The quarterly report of Vocational Guidance officers in Christchurch spoke firmly for raising the leaving age; there were few apprenticeships, as these were in proportion to the journeymen employed; too many boys, some only 13, were going to work direct from primary school, encouraged by the reluctance of employers to take on lads close to military age: their blind alley jobs would fail them when servicemen returned.94 The governors of Christchurch Technical College, still hammering, adopted resolutions strongly condemning child labour and demanding longer education.95 Their views were supported by the Press on 5 April and echoed by a school committee in Oamaru.96 Several branches of the Educational Institute, including those of Auckland and Hastings, added their voices,97 as did the Business and Professional women of Wellington,98 while the Canterbury Manufacturers wanted the raised leaving age to be linked with vocational guidance and specialised trade training.99

Perhaps the last straw was the casual disclosure early in May, in Wellington's Supreme Court, that a 16-year-old girl had already been working for three years in a soft goods factory, having simply ‘got a job there’. The Crown Prosecutor was ‘rather horrified’, inquiry was suggested,100 and the Dominion held that this, coupled with the recent warnings of a Canterbury educationist that New Zealand was in danger of getting back to child slavery, would cause sharp misgiving. The public would want assurance that special watch was kept on child employment in the labour shortage, but singling out factory work was an anachronism: the problem was wider and pointed towards raising the school leaving age.101

On 11 May 1943 the Minister of Education told the Educational Institute that in the coming session of Parliament a one-year increase would be made, and on 22 June he told Parliament that the school leaving age would be 15 from the beginning of 1944. Fears of juvenile delinquency, he said, had not so far been realised, but all the conditions for it existed; an increasing number of young adolescents were missing the discipline of normal home life and it was essential for the school to keep its grip on them during these critical years. The change should be made now while the need was greatest and, though makeshift accommodation might be necessary for a few years, simple, prefabricated, portable rooms could be contrived to page 1134 meet needs as they appeared. Not least of the problems would be the devising of courses suitable to non-academic 14-year-olds.102

Early in August a bill was introduced with two main purposes: the school leaving age would rise to 15; education boards, with ministerial approval, could set up kindergartens as there was now more kindergarten work than the pioneering Free Kindergarten Association could handle alone. The bill was well received. Doidge said that the Opposition welcomed it, but with two or three other speakers he deplored that it did not provide for religious training, as did Britain's current bill. ‘They are determined at Home that God shall not be shut out of schools,’ he said, and quoted Churchill saying that religion was the rock in the life and character of the British people on which they had built their hopes and cast their cares, a fundamental element that must never be taken from the schools.103

Fraser managed, with affable agility, to sidestep claims that government should recognise the growing feeling that religion should have a definite place in the school syllabus. The rebel ex-Labour member for Napier, W. E. Barnard, gave notice that when the bill was in committee he would move an important amendment relating to secular education. Fraser thanked him fulsomely for this information. There would not be time in the closing stages of the session for this important question to be properly considered, and therefore the bill would be dropped. Its main purpose, raising the school leaving age, could be achieved by Order-in-Council, and the religious issue could be discussed along with others at an educational conference proposed for 1944.104 The kindergarten provisions were silently sacrificed.

Agitation for religion continued, drawing a good deal of strength from the Churchill utterance. In October 1943, the Wanganui Education Board believed that it should give the authorities a lead by urging legislation for the teaching of Christian principles as part of the school syllabus.105 It was backed by the Dominion of 27 October page 1135 and by several education boards, including those of Auckland, Wellington and Otago,106 and in July 1944 the Dominion Federation of School Committees wanted the secular clause deleted and religion written in.107 The Educational Institute, on the other hand, issued a pamphlet that saw the teaching of Protestant religion in State schools as an entering wedge that, followed by Roman Catholic and other pressures, might split the education system from top to bottom.108 The promised education conference in October 1944, after long and close debate, decided that there was insufficient representative authority and unity for it to make any recommendations.109

After 1 February 1944, by Order-in-Council, all children up to 15 years had to attend school and it was an offence to employ them in school hours. Certificates issued to factory workers of 15 and 16 years numbered 1549 (881 boys, 668 girls) in 1944–5 and 1822 (919 boys, 903 girls) in 1945–6.110 Tabled figures show that secondary school rolls had already risen in 1943 by 3055 and that the increase more than doubled in 1944.111

Secondary schools District High schools Technical schools Registered Private schools Total
1939 18 176 5401 8 481 5137 37 195
1940 17 710 5253 8 009 5207 36 179
1941 16 986 5033 7 371 5325 34 715
1942 16 805 4852 7 923 5357 34 937
1943 18 324 5197 8 436 6035 37 992
1944 20 829 6187 10 233 6927 44 176
1945 21 566 6872 10 865 7831 47 134
1946 21 936 6656 11 712 8419 48 723
Mason claimed in 1945 that the change had been achieved with less difficulty than he had anticipated, although it had been accentuated by more children staying at secondary schools beyond the raised leaving age; pressure was most serious in Auckland, due to the population drift to war industries.112 There as elsewhere increased numbers had been met by prefabricated classrooms and the planned page 1136
Black and white cartoon of academic in cap and gown standing in front of a group of school girls, with surveyors measuring against a plan for a school. Caption reads "And, Last, children, we come to the future imperfect,tense - 'I shall be having a school'"

education under difficulties

distribution of children to schools where classrooms were available.113 However there were reports of Auckland's grammar schools, besieged by over-many applicants, applying Otis intelligence tests to select the most promising, which the Minister declared was not a proper use for such tests.114 Primary schools, too, were over-crowded: children were shuffled to classrooms here and there, taught in corridors and basements and, at Epsom Normal School, not yet vacated by Training College students, in a marquee. Cartoonist Minhinnick showed Fraser in a mortar board and gown, facing little girls: ‘and next, children, we come to the future imperfect tense— I shall be having a school’.115 This was not a shortage new to Auckland in 1944: in some primary schools, such as Dominion Road and Orakei, classes had resorted to shelter sheds as early as 1942.116

Although 45 prefabricated movable classrooms, 27 ft by 24½ ft, which could take 50 pupils, were ordered for Auckland and 35 for Wellington,117 these were not immediately available; at Wellington Girls' College they were not in running order till 1945.118 At Auckland where three new intermediate schools were planned one of these and a new technical school, both at Avondale, were to be buildings page 1137 erected as a United States naval hospital, with future use as schools in mind. These were not available until 1945.119 Other problems were shortages of text books120 and of teachers. School boards now pressed vigorously for their teachers to be returned from the home forces, some talking of scandalous waste.121

Accommodation difficulties were not limited to Auckland and Wellington: for instance, Cambridge school was reported to be hopelessly over-crowded, and at Te Awamutu children were taught in a corridor and a small disused cloakroom.122 Dilapidation in such old schools as Thorndon in Wellington went unchecked.123 It was clearly impossible during or just after the war to bridge the gap between existing buildings and growing school rolls plus the more spacious demands of changing education methods. A Waikato spokesman for the Educational Institute pointed out that the classroom space per pupil was often less than that allowed by the Agriculture Department for three hens.124 Reports of over-large classes continued through 1944, there was renewed perturbation in 1945 and although, as mentioned earlier,125 building programmes expanded greatly in 1945–6 and thereafter, buildings continued to drag after needs.

On the attitude of schools to the war itself, the Education Department repeatedly gave high-minded advice: these children would have to shape the world after the war and should not bring to this task minds warped with hatred, pride and intolerance. In October 1939 the then Director, N. T. Lambourne,126 stated that mobilising public opinion through propaganda was part of modern war. Children could not be protected from all knowledge of the war but their minds should not be twisted, as were those of German children with lies, hatred and intolerance. The teacher should act as a buffer, passing on at each stage, from the infant room to the Sixth Form, what burden of knowledge he or she judged that the children could and should bear. In the primary school it was better to say too little than too much, but explanations would be needed to steady the children against half-understood statements by adults, newspapers, radio. At no stage should the teacher generate hatred of the German people, yet children should believe that freedom was worth fighting page 1138 for, that democracy offered hope for a decent life, and believe that Britain had strength both to win the war and to make a peace without bitterness or injustice.127

Six months later the new Director, Beeby, also said that the teacher could not ignore the war, but should act as a buffer between his pupils and the beastliness of war, to produce a generation without mental scars, though willing to fight if need be. Children should not be used for war purposes as in Axis countries, but true democratic values should be brought forward: the passionate love of freedom, love of reasonableness and tolerance of opposition were of fundamental importance.128 As mentioned earlier there were, notably in the bad days of 1940, members of the public, some on school committees and boards of governors, who wanted direct, robust patriotism, with raised flags, in schools.129 This was linked with uneasiness about disloyalty and lukewarmness in teachers, with charges of being anti-British, which by inference meant pro-Russian, not pro-German. The Minister of Education, H. R. G. Mason, as this excitement was rising, said that teachers must speak of the war in terms that could be understood by children, and that children should be prepared for adult democracy by training towards critical habits of thought. They should learn to see through false arguments and mass propaganda, to respect honest differences of opinion. The schools should never be places of propaganda, but it was not propaganda to teach that the Empire was based on democratic values, or to teach faith in race and country. He doubted, however, if frequent flag saluting would generate such feelings; rather it might become a meaningless habit.130

More than a year later, in mid-November 1941, regulations prescribed a fairly pedestrian flag-saluting ceremony for use on seven anniversaries: Waitangi Day, Anzac Day, Empire Day, King's Birth day, Dominion Day, Trafalgar Day and Armistice Day, plus any occasions decreed by the Minister or by the local school committee (mainly to pay tribute to the war death of an old boy). It was, explained the Education Gazette, difficult to teach love of country, which was a personal emotional development, but children could learn to be proud of New Zealand and the British Empire; and gratitude to those who had served the country in peace and in war might promote desire to serve likewise. The value of the ceremony was largely that the children would there unite in feeling themselves part of a great community, with all schools doing likewise.

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The assembled staff and pupils would sing ‘God Defend New Zealand’ or other suitable song, a teacher or pupil would recite from memory, ‘We give thanks for the privileges we enjoy as New Zealanders and members of the British Commonwealth of Nations; we honour the memories of all who have served our country (especially Joe Blank.…) We will honour our King, obey the laws of his Government, and serve our country and our fellow men.’ The flag should then be broken at the masthead, preferably by a pupil; if the school had a bugler he could pay the General Salute or, if a death was being marked, the Last Post; or there should be a 15- second drum roll. A teacher, a pupil, or the whole assembly should then recite ‘The flag stands for our country and our people, and for our love of truth, justice, freedom and democracy, in which we are united through the person of our King, with all other members of the British Commonwealth of Nations’, followed by a 15-second silence, and the first verse of the National Anthem. At the end the only speeches should be those appropriate to the occasion.131

Despite the abolition of flogging for adults,132 proposals for the abolition of corporal punishment in schools had little effective support. The Wellington Education Board held in December 1942 that ‘discipline’ was more necessary than ever.133 The rector of Waitaki High School spoke of the ‘current deluge of sloppy sentimentality’ and asked whether he should turn out jellyfish and molluscs or hemen with backbone and spirit enough to face the stern realities of life,134 A writer to the Press advocated continued or increased use of the cane: ‘One might even go so far as to say that it is the frequent use of the cane in youth that has made our men the great fighters that they are.’135

Both teachers and pupils had from the early months been involved in various patriotic activities, largely through the Red Cross, which promoted both training in first-aid and knitting and sewing for soldiers and refugees. For instance, from 1940 to mid-1942 Auckland primary schools gave 30 550 garments to the Red Cross, as well as knitting hundreds more from wool supplied by local patriotic associations;136 for the EPS, the boys of Christchurch's Shirley High School and Papanui Technical College made 300 medical splints;137 page 1140 some direct requests were made by patriotic boards to girls' schools for items such as soldiers' hussifs and milk jug covers.138 Camouflage net making gained help from school children.

School children, particularly Boys Scouts and Girl Guides, were obvious house-to-house gatherers for the many salvage collections, of scrap metal, bottles, paper, rags and rubber, both in special drives and as routine measures. For example, Wellington householders could easily contribute waste paper: they had only to write or to ring the local school and boys would call the following Friday, taking bundles to the school depot.139

Many schools raised money for patriotic funds through sales and entertainments, odd-job earnings and savings. Kelburn school, Wellington, in November 1941, gave £10 raised during the year in small entertainments arranged by the children themselves.140 Okaiawa school, Taranaki, in August 1940 gave £25 from a highly successful bring-and-buy and the sale of bottles and bones collected by the children.141 The not over-privileged children of Newtown school, Wellington, in 1942 accepted a suggestion that the money for their annual picnic should go to soldiers' parcels, each of which carried a note from the children; the next year, inspired by warm letters from soldiers, they aimed to send £5 worth of parcels a month.142 Sometimes, especially if parents and staff weighed in, these efforts were substantial, as when Devonport school, Auckland, having saved £150 in penny banks, topped it off with a gala that raised £250.143 Sometimes the contributions were long sustained, as when Auckland Technical School pupils in December 1943 handed over £500, the third instalment of £1,800 raised since the start of the war.144

As in so many areas, a ‘lead’ could start a snowball, almost an avalanche. In the urgency of June 1940, the Canterbury Education Board's chairman and some headmasters launched an appeal for £2,500 to buy an ambulance,145 with such success that £3,679 was contributed from about 400 public and private schools, a pleasing feature, it was officially said, being that the money came from the efforts of the children themselves, not from their parents.146 ‘This was “90 per cent mythical”’, wrote a parent. ‘The competitive spirit has been worked up among the children to a surprising degree, and page 1141 the parents have been paying the bill.’147 At a meeting of Canterbury school committees, one speaker said, ‘As for compulsion, there was a little, on the soft pedal. I had to give my children something because I did not want them to feel outsiders.’ It was also stated that the names of some children who had not contributed had been written on the blackboard. The Canterbury committees resolved that in future such appeals would require the consent of each school committee.148 However, by September 1942 the Canterbury schools had raised £7,612 altogether for the ambulance and for soldiers' parcels149 and by October 1943 had collected another £1,800 for the latter.150

The growing of vegetables in school gardens was suggested in 1940 by the Director of Primary Production, and favoured by the Department of Agriculture and school agricultural instructors.151 Schools in the Bay of Plenty were notably active;152 among them Poroporo school, Whakatane, grew 10 hundredweight of onions, while Paengaroa sent a ton of onions and two and a half tons of carrots to Papakura camp.153 After the potato famine of mid-1942,154 when for a few weeks a soldier's allowance was reduced to three ounces a day, Northland schools grew 14 tons for the Army, collecting depots being set up in Kaitaia, Kaikohe and Whangarei.155 Only durable vegetables could be sent direct to camps, and as the vegetable shortage developed the schools' efforts became more generalised. Thus in the spring of 1942, nine Ashburton county schools grew early vegetables at home and at school, half the proceeds going to the school and half to patriotic funds.156 In 1943 the children of Tauhei school, Morrinsville, in their spare time grew half a mile of carrots and a quantity of pumpkins.157 In 1942 schools of the Wellington Education Board, some in home gardens, some cultivating patches of farmland, produced 75½ miles of vegetables, mainly onions, carrots and potatoes, some for home use, the rest for sale at patriotic stalls.158 This cultivation was increased in 1943.159

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Many children of the war years would long remember trying to gather ergot, a little, black, banana-shaped fungus about half-an- inch in length that grows on the seed of tall fescue and marram grass, and yields a drug that checks bleeding. In the summer of 1940–1, Britain asked for tons of ergot, and picking it seemed a task well within the range of children. But without sufficient help from elders, many gathered ‘smuts’, another seed disease; the collection of their pickings was not well-organised and the result was a pitiful few pounds from the whole country.160 Next year the Department of Agriculture pushed the ergot campaign more briskly, with copious descriptions, illustrations and displays in shop windows, and pamphlets issued to scouts, guides, other youth groups and to farming bodies. The Education Department especially urged teachers and children to combine patriotism with pocket-money, at 3d to 6d an ounce.161 It was reported that the government had earmarked £14,000 for ergot-buying, which would pay for about 14 tons.162

Results were generally disappointing: since ergot needs warmth and moisture, dry and windswept areas were useless. Many children and others lost interest after a few futile afternoons that half-filled a matchbox. Some Girl Guides collected four ounces valued at 2s in 72 hours.163 But in a few schools, zeal and fungoids came together: the children of Pirinoa, Wairarapa, collected more than 21 pounds, and the little school of Tinui 24 ounces;164 at Feilding, where the crop was good and ergot-gathering was part of the special programme, 73 pounds were collected165 and about Wanganui 171 pounds.166

Ergot gathering was not solely a children's activity; for instance, 50 Red Cross and WWSA women from Rangiora, on a Saturday afternoon, found a large quantity at Saltwater Creek.167 From all sources, but largely from the province of Auckland, about 1600 pounds were finally assembled.168 Happily, no ergot was requested in 1943.

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In the first summer of the war, the Vocational Guidance officer at Auckland, aiming to improve town and country understanding and to recruit youths to farming, placed nearly 100 picked schoolboys, of 15 years or more, on farms during the holidays. They were paid at least £1 a week, plus keep, and many farmers found them more useful than expected.169 Next summer the scheme was put forward more widely, through labour placement officers and youth centres in the four main cities. Some 754 boys volunteered, but only 318 were placed, for varying short periods at award wages, although farmers known to be requiring labour had been notified by placement officers that boys were available.170 In October 1941 these officials again prepared their lists, this time including university students, and amid the post-Japanese entry call-up it was decreed that boys under 15 might work on dairy farms.171 Award wages were £1 a week and board for boys not yet 17, and 26s 6d for those of 17 to 18 years. Demand was keener; by 13 December, 79 boys were on Canterbury farms where only 33 had been taken the previous year,172 and in all 630 lads were placed.173

The following summer, 1942–3, the Auckland Star remarked that while in the past relatively few secondary school pupils had worked on farms or in factories and offices, that year only a few would make holiday.174 Probably this was true mainly for district high schools. A survey at Whangarei showed that 102 high school boys would be on farms, 16 market gardening, 19 in shops, 31 in assorted jobs, and of 11 who did not intend useful work five had some physical disability.175 Of Wairarapa High School's 220 boys, 175 were going on to farms and 38 were taking jobs mainly in the meat works.176 The Waikato took many boys, often on the farms of relatives;177 many returned to farms where they had already worked.178

In some areas there was a last minute rush, with farmers finally deciding to take on boys who meanwhile had turned to other jobs, and in the Auckland province demand was strong enough to draw page 1144 158 boys from Wellington.179 Award wages, plus keep, were now 22s a week for those of less than 17, 29s for those of 17 to 18, 36s for those of 18 to 19 years; it was arranged that boys, if needed, could remain in jobs till the end of February.180

Many farmers, while crying out for men to be released from the Army, were not overkeen to accept boys;181 the Army harvesting scheme would supply stronger labour, strictly for busy periods, without the complication of giving board to boys. McLagan, Minister of Industrial Manpower, suggested that the poor response to the boys indicated that there was sufficient labour on farms, and that farmers who did not avail themselves of senior boys, students and teachers would jeopardise their chances of getting men released from the Army.182 There were counter-charges that the Minister and the National Service Department did not understand the nature and problems of farming, and that the schoolboy scheme was poorly publicised and organised.183 The Press on its farming page observed that the current season's application scheme, conducted by Primary Production Councils, had not been as brisk in canvassing as had Youth Centre officials previously, was cumbersome, and that farmers were chary about inexperienced lads. However, the tabulation of local farmers' comments on the 1941–2 boys showed that the scheme could be thoroughly recommended: 42 per cent were classed as very useful, 51 per cent as sufficiently useful, seven per cent as insufficiently useful; in willingness, 13 per cent were fair, 33 per cent good and 54 per cent excellent.184 Further, such a scheme promoted mutual understanding and interchange of workers between town and country,185 necessary to encourage town lads back to the land.

Vegetable-growing greatly increased in the 1942–3 season, with sudden demands for picking and packing. Girl Guides, scouts, school parties and other batches of youngsters were organised to pick peas, beans, and tomatoes, to cut lettuces and pull onions. Some went out daily to the farms for a few days, some for longer, others camped on the job for a week or several weeks. There were disappointed murmurs from those who found that they worked for little money.186 For instance, some scouts who camped for ten days at Pukekohe after paying £1 for their keep found that they had only about 5s page 1145 each to show for seven six-hour days. Growers replied that the boys were paid normal rates but were slow: Maori girls of their age could make £1 a day picking beans at 2s 6d a case.187

In all, McLagan claimed in February, 5140 boys spent all or most of their holidays on farms, and there would be many more of whom his Department had no record.188 But presumably many in the tally had harvested vegetables, and there was no clear indication whether the work was six weeks among the cows and potatoes, or a few days making hay, thinning turnips or picking peas.

In the summer of 1943–4, with vegetables being canned, dried and quick-frozen for the Pacific, there were elaborate official plans for secondary school volunteers, boys 15 to 18, girls 16 to 18 years, in relays, to work an extra month if necessary between February and April. Other pupils (and school leavers) were invited to make their own arrangements for working on farms—there were no more efforts to coax reluctant farmers—but here too they would be exempted from school for up to four weeks if the district Manpower officer certified that they were doing work of national importance with parents or others.189 Headmasters strongly opposed encroachments on school time, some saying that last year's pupils who made a late start had never caught up.190

Boys were not very keen on vegetable work, which had proved monotonous and no bonanza,191 but some, as at Whangarei, helped in pea-picking rushes etc, earning 1d per pound of peas,192 and on 16 December 1943 about 70 from Auckland schools entrained for an army-style camp at Patumahoe, with teachers in charge and promises of films and sport facilities. Maximum wages were 1s 6d an hour, with 44 hours a week guaranteed.193 Meanwhile, parties of schoolgirls were taken daily by bus to Mangere gardens.194 These activities were shortened by dry weather: the girls' work ceased about 9 January, the boys' mainly before the end of the month.195 However, during February the relay system brought about 100 high school boys and girls daily in buses to pick tomatoes and peas near Hamilton.196

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In all, Vocational Guidance placed 1831 school children (including 47 school leavers) in holiday work between December 1943 and February 1944. Among these, 143 were on vegetables, 154 picked fruit, hops, etc, 296 harvested, 174 were on general farm work, 660 (mainly girls) in shops and offices, 75 in warehouses and woolstores.197 Many others found their own work, but no complete figures were published. In the 1944–5 season, Vocational Guidance placed only 1674 in jobs, nearly half in shops and offices;198 the special war pressures for school-holiday labour were over.

The Education Department played an early part in another special wartime problem. During 1942 when large numbers of lads under 21, together with older soldiers, were mobilised for home defence, and the early skelter had subsided into camp routines, there was general awareness that boredom was the soldiers' most constant enemy, boredom strengthened by separation from many channels of ideas and by the dominance of the lowest common factor in Army conversation. The Army was aware of immediate problems; educationists also foresaw intellectual deterioration and difficulties when soldiers returned to the community.

The problem had been recognised in Britain during 1940 when ‘military authorities were seriously worried about the combined effects of defeat, inactivity and bullshit on the morale of the troops’.199 A committee in September 1940 reported that education in a broad sense was indispensable to morale, and that every unit should have its education officer. This led to a vast number of lectures and short courses on all sorts of topics, and to the creation of the Army Bureau of Current Affairs. To sustain purpose and morale through a long war, troops had to know why they were fighting, along with the background, development and possibilities of world events. Acquiring this knowledge became part of the British Army's training time, not only in the home forces but in all theatres of war, by lectures, pamphlets, exhibitions, wall newspapers, educational films and information rooms.200

By mid-1942, local university speakers and others were pointing out that New Zealand was the only English-speaking country which had no scheme for education in the Army.201 Soon after, the Army Education and Welfare Service (AEWS) was generated, to stimulate page 1147 mental liveliness within the forces, and to give as many as possible both desire and opportunity to pursue courses of study that would be not only of immediate interest but helpful in post-war occupations. A senior inspector in the Education Department, D. G. Ball,202 seconded as a lieutenant-colonel, was its Director; it gave fruitful employment to a number of talented teachers, journalists, civil servants and librarians already in the Army;203 a vigorous library system was built up to support all its activities.204 To give information on, and stimulate interest in current affairs both social and political, their background and implications, bulletins were issued fortnightly on a wide range of topics, as foundations for informal talks and discussions that were part of Army training. The first bulletin, on events leading to the war with Japan, appeared early in March 1943.205

The Education Department, working through civilian regional committees, one to each military camp, co-ordinated all civilian education facilities, arranging lectures from local experts and various courses, providing vocational and technical training for those interested, in particular making use of the Department's Correspondence School and technical colleges.206 Already some university colleges, by supplying books, notes and sometimes lectures, were encouraging students where possible to push on with their studies,207 and this aspect was quickened, with AEWS acquiring text-books, both new and secondhand, which could be hired, arranging rooms for study and some lectures.208

The AEWS officially opened in March 1943, and within a few months vocational, cultural and entertainment activities, including arts and crafts, woodwork, hobby groups, music and drama, were under way among the men and women of the three Services, drawing keen response.209 It soon spread to the Pacific, to prisoners-of-war through the Red Cross, and later to the Middle East and Italy, with thousands of books circulating through camps, air and naval stations and hospitals.

In preparing booklets for its courses AEWS made use of experts wherever they could be found. For instance the staff of Lincoln Agricultural College wrote six booklets—Principles of Animal Production, page 1148 Wool, Pig Farming, Grasslands of New Zealand, Crops and Cropping and How to start Farming—and collaborated on two others, Farm Book-keeping and Biology.210

For several trade and vocational subjects there were almost no books available, so booklets suitable for individual study were produced. By November 1944, 30 such (some up to 160 pages long) had been published, 20 were being printed and 32 more were in preparation, the Education Department being ready to take them over when they should no longer be needed by the forces. Throughout these books there were practical exercises, with answers supplied, and at the end more comprehensive test papers. Answers to the latter could be sent to stations in Wellington, the Pacific and the Mediterranean, where they would be checked and returned with full model answers.211

By this time there had been nearly 9000 enrolments for courses within New Zealand, 6000 from the 3rd Division, nearly 4000 from the Navy and Air Force, and more than 2000 in the Middle East and Italy, where 30 full-time instructors were correcting students' work and preparing more material. Already thousands of those enrolled had been demobilised and a proportion did not persevere, but in November 1944 the roll of effective students in all areas exceeded 4500. The most popular subjects had proved to be bookkeeping, on petrol engines, carpentry, trade mathematics, animal husbandry, farm book-keeping, applied electricity, vegetable growing, English, radio mechanics, biology, needlework, grassland and arable farming, fruitgrowing and shorthand. In those subjects where Army workshops could provide accompanying practical work, this was arranged.212 The vocational activities of AEWS continued strongly till the end of the war, and were linked with those of the Rehabilitation Department.

Universities were both remote from the war and highly sensitive to it. They were remote in that courses continued unchanged, people went on being absorbed in study and examinations about English poetry, French syntax, calculus, Europe in the nineteenth century; about zoology and botany and book-keeping and torts and a great many other topics all totally unconcerned with current crises. Some of the public felt that such labour was irrelevant, an untimely luxury. ‘Don't you know there's a war on? Why aren't you nursing, or page 1149 working in a factory, or doing a man's job?’ were questions asked of students, many of whom questioned themselves in like terms.

On the other hand the war penetrated the universities quite as deeply as it did any other area of living, remembering always that very many students, then as now, were merely ‘the great dull flood that sweeps up the hill and back again with its ticket to a better job’.213 But there were others not so readily soothed by the assurances of political leaders, more aware of war's desolation, of the distant political and financial chicaneries and manoeuvrings that cost the lives of thousands, aware also of the inner ruin that could attend even on victors. They were more sceptical about press victories, about statements on enemy losses, more inclined to think how long it took to train pilots, how quickly ships could sink, how hitches or stupidities hindered production. They knew that war eroded scruples, that truth was its first victim; that while compassion ran high for those bombed in London and Liverpool, there was satisfaction, even gusto, over the destruction of Hamburg and Cologne. They saw how intolerantly New Zealanders could turn on their enemy within, on the few hundred aliens mainly both loyal and frightened, and the few hundred pacifists.

This concerned minority had been aware of the war's presages. As Dr Beeby said over the peace ballot of 1935,214 the student view was not typical of the community; if it were, their education had been wasted.215 Probably education began years before, with All Quiet on the Western Front, Cry Havoc, and the poems of Owen and Sassoon. The ballot had shown pacifist tendencies among those who voted, but these were only 32 per cent of Auckland's 800 students, 37 per cent of Otago's 1139, 53 per cent of Canterbury's 980, 73 per cent of Victoria's 720 and 100 per cent of Massey's 54.216 At least some discussed the implications of Abyssinia and China, saw a little of the complexity in Spain. They read the Left Book Club's issues, read Koestler's Spanish Testament, and Spanish Tragedy by E. A. Peers; they read Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls and Snow's Red Star over China; they read and saw Odet's Till the Day I Die, read Gunther's Inside Europe, Phyllis Bottome's Mortal Storm, and Gedyes's Fallen Bastions. They saw the shadow of the swastika growing while governments in Britain and Europe were more anxious about the shadow of the hammer and sickle. They wondered, as the crises quickened, whether it was worth while to toil on with reading and tests and essays when in a year or two they might be page 1150 far from these things, might even be dead. Some knew what they would have to do, whether it was to enlist or take the path of the dissenter; others argued with friends or with themselves; and like everyone else they waited. Over against work the urge to enjoy youth deepened. Vita nostra brevis est, and there might not be much more time for talking and drinking, tennis and football, for climbing mountains, being in love. Discussion of the probabilities of war became for some much more absorbing than the abstractions of classes. ‘Bugger Chamberlain, he's messed up my exams’217 was the rueful thought of not a few as 1938's Munich crisis ebbed, leaving them stranded amid tasks undone. It was almost a relief in that next September when war came.

At the outset some volunteered for the special force that was to become the 2nd Division, some for the Air Force and the Navy; some, already Territorials, were called to fortress duty. Some now found study impossible, others earnestly sought to finish degrees that were well under way, or to get as much done as possible.

The University, while bent on maintaining standards, was concerned that those helping to defend society should not lose their hopes and labour in near-misses or by being called up just before examinations. Early in October 1939 Parliament, at the University's request, decreed that the University of New Zealand, during the war and for a reasonable time thereafter, could, despite some normal requirements (such as terms) not being kept, confer degrees, diplomas, bursaries, etc, and declare that students had passed sections or subjects ‘upon such tests, certificates or otherwise as the Senate may in its discretion from time to time deem sufficient,’ provided that the Senate was satisfied such shortcoming was due to the student being in the armed forces or on special civilian service, and provided that he had attained such a standard that he would have qualified had he not been called up.218

It must be remembered that the universities, under whatever name, were still in their colonial era: they were not until 1961 separate, autonomous degree-conferring institutions. Those in the four main cities, plus Massey and Canterbury Agricultural (at Lincoln) Colleges, were teaching bodies affiliated to the non-teaching, degree-conferring University of New Zealand,219 whose Senate, assisted by page 1151 an Academic Board drawn from all the parts, arranged syllabuses and appointed examiners. Originally, examinations were set and marked overseas, mainly in the United Kingdom, but a long battle had won increasing independence from British dons. In the mid- Thirties a scheme was devised whereby the heads of departments in the colleges could agree to take in each other's examination washing. This exchange within New Zealand began with Stage I papers: for instance in 1938 and 1939 Auckland was to co-operate with Victoria, and Canterbury with Otago for Stage I examiners.220 But by 1941 each College was running its own Stage I examinations.221 Similarly, by agreement among departments, more and varied stages were locally examined; in 1937 pairs of professors from different colleges examined Stage II of most arts subjects.222 By 1939 some Stage III and Masters papers in certain subjects, such as History and Education and Chemistry, were examined in New Zealand, while others went to Britain and Australia.223

During 1940, students were advised to keep duplicates of theses sent overseas, and there was full debate on the question of using British examiners in war time.224 In January 1941 the Senate declared that, while any examiners in England who had already set papers had been paid, it had been settled that all scripts in 1941 should be marked in New Zealand or Australia. In arts and science, papers for Stage III and masters would all be set and marked in New Zealand; in law and commerce, some papers were sent to Australia and some were handled locally.225 In 1946 this was still the procedure, but the majority of subjects at all stages were examined in New Zealand.226 Professor J. Packer227 of Canterbury wrote that year: ‘It seems likely that, had the war not intervened, honours in most science subjects would still be examined overseas.’228

The war, then, accelerated academic independence both within New Zealand and within each college. Pre-war arguments for such independence, based on integrity and commonsense, were augmented by the risk of papers being sunk on the way to England and by the complications of war concessions. These perforce threw responsibility page 1152 on to a student's own teachers and professors, for no one else could judge the quality of his year's work, or such work as military calls had permitted. The Senate, in exercising the wide discretion conferred by the 1939 Statutes Amendment, obviously had to accept professors' recommendations, and could not limit these to Stages I or II only. By the end of 1940 the Registrar of the University of New Zealand had informed the New Zealand Students' Association that each college was itself empowered to grant degree passes on the year's work to students called up.229

In the Senate's discretion, its executive committee decided that those whose work professorial boards recommended should be granted a pass without sitting an examination; others, whether they had kept terms or not, could sit the November examinations or, if they preferred, have their fees refunded. A committee was appointed to deal with clear-cut cases and to report to the Senate on any presenting special difficulties. Also, mobilised students could pass in a single unit,230 an innovation that did not become general till 1942.

There was room in all this for a good deal of uncertainty in student minds as to what concessions they might expect. At both Canterbury and Victoria in October 1940, student meetings complained of gross injustices in war concessions and demanded a definite statement of policy for the future.231 For the 1940 examinations there were applications for concessions from 61 entrance and 572 degree candidates, and 324 from accountancy students whom the Society of Accountants required to take the professional examinations before concessions were given. In these three groups normal passes numbered 5, 22 and 15, respectively; concession passes were granted to 30 entrance applicants, 498 degree candidates and 151 accountancy students—that is 721 out of 957 cases were passed; for most of the remainder, fees were credited or refunded. Special examination centres had been established at or near the main military camps.232

As the years passed some students struggled on with university work when in camp, even when overseas. In 1944 there were special examination centres in London, Montreal, Colombo, North Africa, in several prisoner-of-war camps, in six Pacific bases and on five naval vessels. There were applications for concessions from 230 entrance candidates, 1042 degree and 762 accountancy students; on marks, one, 115 and 77, respectively, passed, while 176 concession page 1153 passes were granted to entrance candidates, 702 to degree seekers and 479 to accountants; in all, 193 passed on marks, 1357 with concessions.233

When conscription came in 1940, it was decided that approved numbers of students, the minimum considered necessary in national interests who were taking medicine, dentistry, science, engineering, mining, agriculture and architecture, should be exempted from military service. Other students were liable both to Territorial and overseas ballots and, from 1942 onwards, to Manpower direction. At the start, Territorial ballots were cushioned. When the first came on 1 October 1940 Semple, Minister of National Service, agreed that students whom the University was unable to credit with a pass at the end of September could arrange with Manpower committees to postpone their training till after the November examinations.234 In 1941, for students on three months' service from January to March and therefore making a late start, the University arranged extra tuition; for those called up later, Manpower authorities could grant postponement till the end of September and, if credit passes were not given, till the examinations had been held.235 Those called in overseas ballots might or might not obtain a few months' postponement from an armed forces appeal board. During 1942, Territorial demands were much tougher and instead of being for three months only, home service was continuous; overseas ballots mounted, and despite growing numbers of women, classes were thinned; at Victoria Dr J. C Beaglehole remembered that ‘an arts professor or lecturer, gazing out sometimes over his class, might be pardoned for thinking it contained, besides women, nothing but the halt and the blind.’236 During 1943 many Territorials were released, to take up their studies again until liable for overseas service when 21 years of age. Numbers rose steadily, to expand almost violently in 1946.

The figures below,237 which include students excused from lectures, represent those taking definite courses, and show how some courses withered while others throve.

1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946
Agriculture 353 360 333 112 296 780 1197* 1489
Architecture 75 35 68 45 67 82 134 221
Arts 1950 1971 1869 1572 1949 2508 2965 3825
Commerce 746 508 492 403 553 827 1111 2162
Dentistry 135 122 113 107 129 154 175 205
Diploma of Education 65 65 56 32 43 40 67 103
Diploma of Public Administration 8 16
Divinity 18
Engineering 184 163 181 157 235 309 399 705
Home Science 144 170 184 186 190 207 207 207
Horticulture 20 52 60
Journalism 34 19 33 23 29 38 37 74
Law 369 295 253 136 164 267 317 583
Massage 30 32 31 33 40 44 43
Medicine 563 639 626 637 789 844 893 895
Mining 45 41 40 30 42 35 38 63
Music 86 108 145 77 125 167 147 248
Science 587 566 624 595 796 1002 1176 1516
5336 5140 5065 4143 5440 7320 8959 12417

In 1939 there were, in the six colleges, 4116 men and 1220 women taking courses: 3784 men and 1356 women in 1940; 3422 and 1643 in 1941; 2596 and 1547 in 1942; 3710 and 1730 in 1943; 5275 and 2045 in 1944; 6849 and 2110 in 1945; 10 175 and 2242 in 1946.238

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It will be seen that medicine and science student numbers increased between 1939 and 1942, that engineering fell by 14.6 per cent, dentistry by 20 per cent, architecture and mining more steeply, while agriculture fell by almost 70 per cent because in the shortage of labour students could not be spared from the farms. Numbers in arts courses, favoured by women, fell less; in commerce they were almost halved; in law, a long course and practically a male preserve, they dropped nearly 70 per cent. At Victoria College a public administration course, inaugurated in 1940 for full-time hand-picked bursars from the Public Service, had to be suspended from 1942 to 1946 because the bursars could not be spared. The rolls of some colleges were more affected than those of others. Between 1939 and 1942, at Auckland the numbers of men dropped by 41 per cent, of women increased 19 per cent, and the total student roll fell 20 per cent; at Victoria, the roll for men dropped 51 per cent, for page 1155 women it rose by 27 per cent, with the total loss 34 per cent; Canterbury's men dropped by 47 per cent, women by 10 per cent, with a total loss of 37 per cent; at Otago the number of men fell by 22 per cent, women increased by 28 per cent, with a total loss of 7 per cent.239

Because of exemptions from lectures, the numbers actually attending were even smaller. For instance, while rolls at Victoria in 1942 totalled 914 (566 men and 348 women), it was reported at the end of March that fewer than 700 were taking lectures.240 Auckland at the same time listed 983 students (635 men, 348 women), but only 829 attended lectures.241

Pre-war, the male staffs of the six colleges, including part-time lecturers, totalled less than 200. By 1942, 45 of these were either in the forces or full-time on special work, while 59 others were doing part-time special work, exclusive of any Home Guard or EPS duties, Replacements were very difficult and in science men with only BSc degrees had to be taken on. Savings in salaries were not enough to make up for the drop in fees paid, so the government compensated with special grants.242 In some fields, staff shrinkage was conspicuous, notably in law: at Victoria the pre-war staff of three full-time teachers and one part-time was reduced to a solitary professor with some help from the profession and from a colleague in an Army department.243

In general, courses were simply carried on, with syllabuses unchanged despite the shortage of books, and standards much the same—though some staff members thought that they fell a little. In a few areas teaching and research were reshaped to meet war needs; in particular, the need for men trained in radio-physics caused re-organisation of physics courses and the multiplication of some classes. Chemistry and engineering departments co-operated with the DSIR on defence research work, such as war gases and smoke bombs. Samples of war gases were made for use in detection training, and Otago produced supplies of antidote. Smoke bombs were produced at an Auckland factory with research and direction by university scientists. Canterbury's chemists helped in making gas masks for page 1156 EPS, being particularly concerned with the absorptive capacity of the activated charcoal. Large crystals of Rochelle salt, for naval sonar equipment, were made at Otago and during an acute shortage of matches honours students at all the universities worked in relays making two tons of potassium chlorate for the Ministry of Supply. At Canterbury and Auckland a good deal of staff, equipment and building space was devoted to defence work, notably in the radar field. Otago's Professor F. G. Soper244 was chemical adviser to the government on munitions.245

Interest in Russia, generated by the war, brought in a new language. Dr Nicholas Danilow,246 a Russian born in Riga who after 1921 had worked and studied in Vienna, went to England in 1938 and reached New Zealand late in 1939. In April 1940 his offer to lecture in Russian history was declined as inopportune by the Professorial Board at Otago.247 In May 1942 he began teaching languages at Scots College, Wellington, where he continued for 13 years. In 1942 he also became a lecturer in German at Victoria University College and the principal, Sir Thomas Hunter, readily accepted his suggestion that since Russian had become an important language in the Western world it should be taught in the university. There was a great scarcity of books but Dr Danilow made his own available and during 1944–9 the Soviet government, through the legation in Moscow, gave about 400 books. In January 1944 the Senate of the University of New Zealand decided that Russian should be one of the foreign languages for a BA degree.248 By 1945 Russian language and literature, modestly related to the history of the period studied, was a Stage I subject, Stage II followed in 1948 and Stage III in 1950. For more than a decade only at Victoria was Russian actually taught, but the other university colleges gradually followed suit.249

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By tradition and training, in peace and in war, universities have often been ahead of their communities in resisting surges of intolerance and prejudice. In general, and modestly, New Zealand universities took this role: both student bodies and staff members stood against attacks on civil liberties, aliens and so-called subversions. As mentioned earlier,250 they were themselves under fire for ‘disloyalty’ from the RSA and others who were principally concerned lest teaching should encourage belief in or sympathy with those associated enemies of the British Empire: communism, initially the USSR, and pacifism.

Said F. W. Doidge, MP (Tauranga) in June 1940, ‘We know that Communist activities are going on all over the country—that even in the schools and universities Communist teaching is going on. I know that teachers in my own district are Communists, and there are mental blow-flies in our universities contaminating the minds of students, disseminating these dangerous doctrines.’251 In November an Otago Daily Times correspondent quoted from an ‘October number of a New Zealand magazine’ (unidentified) an article on ‘communism in student periodicals’, which ran:

A sound indication of the state of mind and attitude towards society fostered amongst New Zealand university students by the totalitarian-minded amongst our educational leaders is obtained from a careful scrutiny of the student publications of Victoria University College. For some years now the Wellington student periodical Salient has, with amazing consistency, been an Adolescent apologist for Marxism, pacifism, and anti-Christian ideas and all the intellectual junk of the extreme Left Wing.

There were traces of a similar attitude at Canterbury, continued the article, but in general the periodicals of other colleges gave diverse views. The uniformly Marxist and rationalist taint in Victoria's papers Salient and its precursor Smad showed that its source was in the teaching of that College. Why were some people punished for subversion while others got off scot free?252

The Crown representative on the Armed Forces Appeal Board at Christchurch in June 1941, tackling a non-religious objector, said that there were a lot of young fellows around Canterbury College with ‘colossal conceit and cheek’ who would take all the State's free education but make no return, and he asked pointedly who taught these doctrines.253 Both the rector and president of the Students Association stated that there was no pacifist teaching or organised page 1158 group in the College; undoubtedly a number held such views, but they were not more numerous than in other thinking sectors of the community. The rector, Dr H. G. Denham,254 added that he could not understand their attitude and thought that it came from reading only one side of the question: ‘What they won't see is that under any other regime they wouldn't be left alive to think.’255 To further suggestions that he should certify that every professor and lecturer was behind the war effort, the rector replied that this was quite outside his jurisdiction: in the College, as in every profession, there were differences of opinion on some aspects of the war effort, but he was sure that all would fulfil willingly the obligations imposed by government.256

These are samples of the attacks. University Red-hunting was a time-honoured sport, with notable outbursts in the Twenties and Thirties.257 Often these attacks did not go beyond vague name-calling, though even this promoted caution, a willingness to avoid notice. In the past, as J. C. Beaglehole has noted, college authorities had wavered, even bowed; now they showed a better sense of proportion. Indeed, against clamour for loyalty-testing, staffs and councils closed their ranks with trade union firmness, though the poor relation, the WEA, was not fully included in this solidarity. The Otago University Council, headed by ex-soldiers, in 1940 stoutly fended off the local RSA which wanted it to impose loyalty tests on its staff. At Auckland 16 Council and staff members protested against the ‘gestapo’ methods of the Auckland Education Board, prompted by anonymous letters, in dismissing two probationary teachers charged with Communist leanings; when the College itself was accused of cherishing communism the principal spoke of libel action.258

The students themselves, though they bridled now and then under these charges, tended to take them as part of the scene, a predictable page 1159 method of attacking both their freedom of speech and their privileged position in society. Real leftists, an active minority, were gratified to hear that the universities were full of Communists; others knew that such statements were exaggerated. As an Otago man said, ‘one student, through Leftist leanings, a loud mouth, and a prolific pen, can create a false impression that the whole University is Communistic.’259 In mid-1940, a medical student wrote to his father, Bishop F. A. Bennett,260 ‘You no doubt have read in the newspapers that the universities are hot beds of Communism. That is all rubbish.… However, the people of Dunedin are hyper-sensitive at present and pick on anything to work their excess energy off—alien refugees and to a lesser extent students are their objects of malicious interest just now.’261

In the restless uncertainty of early 1940, widespread talk of communism, subversive influences and pacifism within the universities caused N. Begg,262 vice-president of Otago's Students Association and president of the national student body, to issue a statement ‘for the enlightenment of all’. Many such references, he wrote, were loosely made and unconvincing, many were contrary to fact. On the other hand, some students had attacked New Zealand's policy towards the Empire and the war, and ‘though couched in the specious phrases of sophistry the criticism put forward by these dilettanti is also unconvincing.’ He believed that the attitude of the student body came from balanced thinking, not from noisy patriotism: ‘… indeed, I insist that the average student comes to his decision despite our accredited war aims, rather than because of them.’ Students realised that youth was required to make most of the sacrifice, required to do so by an older generation ‘whose hearts were so full of bitterness and hatred after the last war that the way was paved to a repetition of that war.’ They also realised that Britain's avowed championing of downtrodden smaller countries was scarcely consistent with its attitude to aggression against China, the seizure of Abyssinia, and the rape of Czechoslovakia; they realised that while Hitler's colonising was brutal, Britain's was not blameless and that, even in New Zealand, wrongs suffered by the Maori race had not yet been righted. But beyond these ‘hazy platitudes’ students saw that New Zealand page 1160 was fighting for its way of living, against a madman bent first on the destruction of Britain, then on world domination: fighting for freedom in thought, in speech, in worship. This was the main flow of the river of student opinion, which so far had been judged by the froth on the surface of its whirlpools. ‘We hate war, but we will fight for the freedom we have always known and which has become associated with the name of Britain.’263

Commenting on this the Otago Daily Times, while indignantly refuting the cynical suggestion that Britain's present championship of small countries was inconsistent with its former course, and brushing aside the special sacrifice of youth as inevitable and universal in war, thought that this statement reached, in the main, some reassuring conclusions. It added that as student opinions on social and political problems were influenced by their teachers, an expression of the views of university staffs would be of equal interest to the public.264

At bottom, the public tendency to imagine that student satchels held pamphlets from Moscow largely stemmed, as it had done years earlier and would again, from irritation at the student tendency, both in groups and as individuals, to question, sometimes brashly, established procedures and attitudes. Such questioning was ‘bolshie’, and though by no means the monopoly of students came from them more noticeably than from other young people. Their assumption that they knew better than their elders was attacked, often quite loosely, as communism. The editor of Kiwi, Auckland's yearly student magazine, which remained firmly literary, wrote in 1941:

There are two games played in Auckland.…. The first is called ‘Hunt the University’, to be played by an unlimited number.… The players suppose that the University is an awful place, full of Communists and Fifth Columnists. Then everyone starts to poke out his metaphorical tongue and spit metaphorical spit in the direction of Princes Street. Should any member of the University deny his communism the players then accuse him of having ‘Communist tendencies’ and resume spitting. In the other game, called ‘Examine Society’, played by not a few students, each announced his single-minded devotion to Truth, on account of which he should be free of the authority to which less rational beings must be subject; from the University, seat of intellect undefiled, he examined Society and gave instruction for its cure. In fact, the public and the University behave in a thoroughly foolish manner when speaking of the other.265

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Some conservative minds were tolerant of university hotheads, believing that while young people must be allowed to toss ideas around, their leftist milk teeth would in due time be replaced by solid capitalist grinders. Thus a veteran Presbyterian scholar, Dr John Dickie,266 addressing Otago graduates in May 1940, held that those who served the community, such as doctors, teachers and ministers, had no right to disregard the convictions or even the prejudices of those whom they served; parents had the right to resist, and if need be to suppress, at school or university, indoctrination with ideas that they regarded as subversive of general well-being. But no sensible experienced person would try to suppress free discussion among students, knowing that those who were extreme leftists at 20 were often hard-boiled conservatives at 40.267

More liberal university apologists pointed out that students and intellectuals were always the first targets of Nazi occupation. ‘Nazism and the university spirit are irreconcilably opposed’, said W. P. Rollings,268 a Wellington lawyer who regularly spoke out for civil liberties and free minds, in May 1941; those who made unfounded attacks on institutions of higher learning should look at what had happened and was happening in Europe, then ask themselves if they were not doing Hitler's work for him, becoming tools of Fascism.269

No professors or lecturers were dismissed for their opinions, but the WEA, an off-shoot of the university, with its tutors employed by local College Councils, lost two for pacifism. The first was Alun Richards, trained as a Presbyterian minister, but working in 1940 as tutor-organiser for the WEA's Wellington district. Before any subversion regulations were passed he had written a pamphlet What Are we Fighting For?, sharply criticising British pre-war policy. This was published anonymously in November 1939, with a second, revised edition in December. The latter, on its inside cover, carried a ‘quiz’, proffering a choice of questions. One asked whether the pamphlet was written by, among others, Dr Goebbels, Bernard Shaw, Winston Churchill or a lecturer under the New Zealand University. This slender connection with the University brought a complaint to page 1162 the Council of Victoria University College, which in mid-1940 dispensed with Richards's services, while paying him for three months, the normal period for notice of ending an appointment.270

The WEA, at its annual conference in December 1940, battled for freedom of opinion, harking back to a resolution on academic freedom passed by the Auckland University College Council in August 1934. This held that a university teacher has no less privilege of free speech, within the law, than any other citizen and while there is a responsibility on him to weigh his public utterances, he may feel at times that his position involves the obligation to make a pronouncement not in accord with the opinions and traditions of the majority of citizens. The exercise of that freedom or obligation should not put his position at risk or make him subject to supervision or correction.271

The WEA's district council asked the Victoria University College Council for a ruling on what a tutor could and could not say and in February, at a meeting held in camera, the Victoria Council on the casting vote of the chairman declared:

The appointment of a tutor is subject to his services being dispensed with on being given the notice provided for in his contract or on his receiving payment in lieu of such notice. It is impossible and it is not desirable to attempt to specify what a tutor can or cannot do with regard to the free expression of opinion within the law. The tutors are adult educated people and it must be left to them to use their own judgment when they are about to give an expression of opinion, as to whether such expression is likely to lead the Council to the conclusion that they are not fit and proper persons to continue in the council's employment.272

In April 1941 a Council member, Mr Justice (later Sir David) Smith,273 sought to rescind this and substitute the 1934 Auckland resolution. He cited authorities from England and elsewhere supporting this resolution, and he stressed that it was asked only that page 1163 university teachers should be allowed to express their opinions within the law, this being one of the things for which the British Empire was fighting and which Hitler would destroy if he won. The College Council, he said, had no right to deprive a man of his job because it disagreed with an opinion that was quite within the law. He also pointed out that Richards had been prepared not to circulate his pamphlet, that there had been only one complaint against it, and that while enquiries had produced no complaints against Richards for partiality in his lectures there had been complaints against those who dismissed him; he added that those advocating academic freedom were not subscribing to the views expressed in the pamphlet.

The chairman, H. F. O'Leary,274 spoke hotly against the Council discussing such a question while British troops were being driven out of Greece. ‘My blood boils when I think of this council solemnly discussing academic freedom—purely a catchword—while we face a peril such as we have never known.’ Ever since Richards's dismissal in July 1940 the Council had been pestered with applications, deputations and resolutions seeking reasons for it, but he was surprised that the Council paid any attention to them. The pamphlet, in the opinion of the majority of the Council, showed that Richards was not a fit person to be in the employ of the College, and that was what mattered, whether its statements were subversive or not. Tutors were not so innocent or unenlightened that they did not know the limits of what they could say and some of the WEA committee held views similar to those of the man dismissed.

Council member W. P. Rollings disputed that discussion of academic freedom should be ruled out because of the critical war situation, saying that such questions were raised only in times of stress. On the other hand M. F. Luckie275 marvelled at Mr Justice Smith's view that a tutor would have to commit a criminal offence before the Council could discharge him, the strangest view of the relationship between master and servant that he had ever heard. At length it was resolved that: ‘A University teacher has the same liberty of action within the law as any other citizen; but academic freedom implies responsibilities and if the council decides that the actions of a University teacher indicate that he is unsuitable for his office because page 1164 of his failure to appreciate these responsibilities, it has the right to terminate his appointment.’276

Incomplete reporting of this resolution was the pretext on which Victoria's principal, Sir Thomas Hunter,277 and the Professorial Board sought to make ‘some points more explicit’ and also more liberal, with a supplementary resolution:

(a) that in his public acts, statements and publications a university teacher has the same freedom as any other citizen, except that he has the additional responsibility to make due allowance for the fact that, because of his position, his acts and utterances may have added weight; (b) that in his private and casual conversation a university teacher has neither more nor less freedom to express his own views than has any other citizen; (c) that in the discharge of his duties as a teacher within the university it is incumbent on a university teacher to state as fairly as he is able all aspects of any controversial matter that comes within the purview of his department. At the same time he is entitled, indeed it may be his duty, to express his own views and preferences, even though they may not be popularly accepted, provided always that he does so fairly and temperately and not for purposes of propaganda.278

These qualifications were rejected by both the rigid men and the liberals. F. L. Combs279 was as much against the interpretation as he was against the resolution; W. P. Rollings distrusted trying to clarify one resolution by others, and to him the root trouble was that the Council, because the issue was raised by the WEA rather than by voices of higher rank, had failed to treat it as one of high principle; Mr Justice Smith said that the interpolation was an attempt to take the sting from a resolution that itself embodied the contradiction of offering freedom and then taking it away.280

Despite this rebuff the Professorial Board underlined its attitude by affirming its own resolution next month, and reported accordingly to the Council. Said Luckie: ‘Whatever may be the meaning of this, it cannot affect the decision arrived at by the Council. That still stands.’ The report was received without further comment.281

However the College Council, the Professorial Board and some staff members individually supported the WEA when in July 1942 the Wellington City Council withdrew its annual grant of £50 page 1165 because the WEA's secretary, A. C. Barrington, was a well known pacifist and because some of its study material was sent to defaulters' camps. This material was paid for by the defaulters themselves, and tutors' services, which were available for study courses in prisons, were not provided.282 A press letter, signed by three of the staff of Victoria and three lawyers,283 pleaded for restoration of this grant, pointing out that while it might be a valuable social service to attempt to enlighten those whom the community considered misguided and anti-social, the WEA's assistance to defaulters was too trivial a fraction of its activities to justify a deprivation that would seriously handicap its work with the 600 men and women enrolled in its Wellington classes.284 Another staff member privately helped to make up the loss: Barrington's diary records that Dr A. E. C. Hare, research fellow, gave £25 in 1942, and in 1943 gave the fees (£12) that he himself received for WEA classes.285 The College Council, prompted by Sir Thomas Hunter speaking for the Professorial Board, affirmed the need to provide adequate educational facilities in prisons, defaulters' and internment camps; it would make discussion-course material available to their authorities at the usual price, without sending a tutor.286

Alun Richards was joined in exile about two years later by N. M. Bell, a Christchurch pillar of the Christian Pacifist Society. Following the government's emergency regulation of December 1941,287 whereby teachers who appealed against service on conscience grounds were at once sent on leave without pay, whether or not their appeals were allowed, the Canterbury University College Council in April 1942 proposed to the other councils that the regulation should be amended to apply to university teachers. The other councils rejected the idea,288 but in August Canterbury's alone resolved that any person in its employ who refused service on conscience grounds should have leave without pay for the duration.289 An attempt to replace this with a motion ‘more worthy’ of a university was defeated 9:8 at the end of September. ‘If we don't win this war we shall be faced with extermination. There is no place in this community for a conscientious objector, except possibly in a mental hospital,’ said one page 1166 member, H. D. Acland.290 Others spoke of the need for firmness, of the Council's public duty to see that teaching was in the right hands, and one said that a rescission would look like ‘crawling down’.291

The issue was revived early in 1944, when L. A. Baigent, nominated as a part-time lecturer by the head of the Canterbury English department, was barred from appointment as being a conscientious objector. A further effort to rescind the resolution, led by Dr Helen Simpson, was defeated 11:9 in the Council,292 while the student Radical Club protested that the issue was not pacifism but civil liberties.293 There followed what Canta, the student paper, called a ‘most regrettable correspondence in the press’, in which it was claimed that the marked tendency towards pacifism in college was a menace to the community.294 The students' annual general meeting, with about 10 per cent present, urged (66:47) withdrawal of the resolution in order to maintain civil liberties,295 whereon both Truth and the New Zealand Observer joined in the fray, commenting on proconscientious objector sentiment at Canterbury College.296

Considering all the accusations of disloyalty, student clashes with censorship authorities might have been expected, but they did not happen. Censorship lay further back, in the university organisation, in the restraining influence of College principals and student executives, avoiding anticipated pressure. The Security regulations that could suppress papers without proving subversion, and the example of Tomorrow,297 extinguished thus in June 1940, blew chilly draughts in many directions. Thus at Victoria the debating society thought it unwise to discuss any large political issue at all, and 1940 was one of its dreariest periods.298 Victoria's Salient of June 1940 offended in a short story: an innocent country boy, looking for a factory job, was instead persuaded to enlist, while a bystander advised him to have some fun before he went—‘These new bullets make a hang of a mess. I know a chap who had his doings blown clean away’.299 page 1167 The editor and Students' Association executive were warned, by the Prime Minister himself.300 The executive thereafter kept an eye on the yearly magazine Spike, edited in 1940 by the author of the offending story. A minor editorial note on a back page, which at first escaped executive surveillance, contained a ‘word of explanation’, stating that Spike 1940 was not the free expression of university opinion: considerable concessions had been made to forces within the community detrimental to free speech, in particular to the freedom of speech claimed by university students. ‘To these forces we yield now, but not without condemnation, and not without knowledge that this affront will be remembered in future time.’301 The executive had these lines blacked out before distribution. In the same issue an article, ‘Understanding the Facts’, railed against the loss of academic freedom in terms almost as direct as those blacked out, but with its main force pointed not against authority but at the sluggishness of student thinking.

Did university students, as such, feel themselves involved in the war when it was no longer a dread presage but a fact in day-to-day living? There were no college demonstrations, no conspicuous rallying to this or that war effort. Students and staff were involved as individuals in service at home or overseas, in the EPS and Home Guard, in fire-watching, in Red Cross activities, in fund-raising for patriotic purposes and in directed vacation work. For many, in daytime work sanctioned by National Service, part-time study absorbed most of their remaining energy. But for some this was not enough; an article on ‘The University and the War’ in Salient on 17 June 1942 complained of student inertia: anti-fascist speeches alone would not keep the Japanese away, trained and spirited defence would.

There were small bouts of organised activity for the International Student Service, an organisation which like the Red Cross worked across frontiers. From mid-1940 onwards, in all colleges, aware of their own easy life in contrast to the hardships of students in China and Europe, committees laboured, collecting a few hundred pounds yearly. Work days and baby sitting, with earnings for ISS, were a notable source, besides donations and the proceeds of college functions.

Contributions were also made, spasmodically, to patriotic collections. Thus, in the bad days of 1942, Victoria's students executive decided to invest £1,000 of its building fund in a Liberty loan, page 1168 while giving £50 (one-twelfth of its year's income) to patriotic funds.302 A year later, in a four-day burst of activity, £600 was campaigned out of 900 students for another Liberty loan, and another £634 invested from the building fund;303 but in 1944 although £1,184 was subscribed to the Victory loan, more than £1,050 came from five people, with only three-and-a-half per cent of students, forty out of 1100, contributing.304 Some early impulses towards special effort were rejected by authority, thereby discouraging others. Thus when the billeting of British children was first considered, an Otago student committee proposed that 1000 students would visit every household, delivering and collecting a questionnaire (which the Otago Daily Times had offered to print free), which they thought to be the quickest and most effective way of gathering information that might inspire Dunedin and the rest of the country. The Mayor appreciated their intentions but told them that they were interfering in things that did not concern them.305

Many university activities were curtailed. Student newspapers, with fewer subscriptions, fewer contributors, and rising costs, struggled along with difficulty: Salient was cyclostyled in 1940; Craccum (Auckland) did not appear between 4 June and 11 August 1941. Capping festivities and inter-college tournaments, held much as usual in the first two years, were dropped in 1942, apart from actual capping ceremonies and balls, while in sport it was decided that no university blues would be awarded during the war. In 1944 capping day processions were still banned; despite the growing sense of victory, it was felt improper for privileged students to indulge in public frivolity and to waste calico on banners and petrol on transport. Revues and extravaganzas all disappeared in 1942. Victoria, with its strong tradition of political satire, presented hastily got-up shows in 1943 (‘Deep in the Heart of Cactus’) and 1944 (‘Zealous Zombies’), but revues in other colleges did not re-appear till 1945 or a year later. In 1945 tournament was back, a new experience for most, and capping processions likewise, with proceeds going to patriotic funds or international student relief.

The war, while reducing student numbers and activities, also reduced student liveliness. This varied from college to college and from year to year. In 1942 Craccum described the suspended animation that to some extent was present everywhere.

page 1169

Frankly, Craccum has little policy this year except to keep its end up by garnering what news there is and trying to arouse interest in things concerning University life. Because there is a war we are all inclined to feel that existence is all that matters and that there is little beyond. The men students all seem to be restless to be away and the women students are restless because life is apt to be monotonous.306

It was widely held that Victoria was more politically minded than the other colleges. Tradition, its law school, its mainly part-time students with jobs in town, and its leading personalities, mainly leftists for a decade after the mid-Thirties, were factors making Victoria less liable to academic isolation. At Otago full-time medical, dental, theological, mining and home science faculties were substantially non-political, while at Auckland and Canterbury there were influential bodies of full-time architects, engineers and scientists, traditionally less concerned with social and political problems than their far-reaching skills might warrant. On the other hand, part-time study meant less energy for non-curricula activities and while the leading layer at Victoria might approach war-time controversies more boldly, this did not mean widely sustained interest. For instance, at the height of the conscription issue in 1940, a special general meeting insisted, against the prudence of the executive, that a new Peace Society should exist. Through the counsels of the principal, Sir Thomas Hunter, the more comprehensive name, Society for the Discussion of Peace, War and Civil Liberties, was adopted, but despite this widened scope the society soon died from inactivity. ‘The general sickness of the University Red’, Spike noted in 1942, had caused both the death of this society and the coma of the International Relations Club which had had its beginnings in the excitement of August 1939.307

For university Reds as for Reds elsewhere, Russia's entry changed the situation: imperialist struggle became holy war, while leftist pacifists found their pacifism less secure. One wrote in Salient that most pacifists were socialists, for only in a socialist world could peace be attained. Most socialists had been sceptical about the war, suspicious that Communism rather than Fascism was the Empire's foe. Now the issue was clear—Socialism against the barbarous onslaught of Fascism—and although the Empire had no love for the Soviet and newspapers were told not to refer to Russia as ‘our ally’, pacifists page 1170 must decide whether pacifism or socialism came first, or else risk the awful consequences of Nazi victory.308

Some university ‘Reds’ seized the occasion to point out that in Europe ‘subversive’ leftwing students had been prominent among Hitler's opponents and victims. At Victoria the executive produced a manifesto, its opening phrases echoing Marx, adopted by a special student meeting on 2 September: ‘A spectre is haunting New Zealand—the spectre of the University Red. He is unpatriotic and addicted to foreign philosophies; his attitude to political and social problems is irresponsible and immature; he is defeatist and unwilling to defend his country against aggression.’ But at Prague and in Poland, Norway, Holland and the rest of occupied Europe university students had been much more strongly opposed to the Nazis than had those hostile to the universities, the political and religious Right. To Japanese bombers the universities of China, regarded as hot-beds of Communism, were military targets. ‘It is not the cringers and lick-spittles who fill the concentration camps of Dachau and Buchenwald but people who think and say what they think. Both of these dangerous habits are acquired at Universities, not by all students but by a sufficient number to give such places a bad name.’ Voices at Victoria had been raised against the men who paved the way for Vichy, against von Mannerheim and in defence of Russia, whose armies were now, in Churchill's phrase, holding the bridgeheads of civilisation; pacifism in the college had declined, not because of persecution but because of logical arguments brought out in free and open discussion. Unless they continued to speak the truth as they saw it, at the risk of unpopularity, they would betray the cause for which more than 300 fellow students were fighting in the Middle East. Therefore the students of Victoria College deplored the slanders which had from time to time been brought against them, and pledged themselves to maintain those principles of freedom for which British, Soviet and Allied youth were giving their lives.309

A similar note was sounded two and a half years later at Otago, when a socialist club was formed. A notice explained that students under Nazi domination had long and bitterly opposed Fascism, perceiving its true nature through political education provided mainly by student organisations, notably by socialist clubs. ‘There is, then, no reason to feel diffident about declaring yourself a Socialist, for in so doing you join the unsullied ranks of those who have always fought oppression and reaction.…’310 This club, after a few weeks, page 1171 was organising widespread consideration of the issue of students increasing their war effort while maintaining their studies.311

‘Study for Victory’ was a slogan at British universities: the privilege of being a student in war time demanded harder, more systematic effort. It was an obvious enough idea, sounded for instance in several Salient editorials.312 Indeed, a science student after mid-year examinations in 1943 urged that the tail-enders, too lazy or dull to make reasonable progress, would be of more use at factory or farm than cluttering classes.313 Auckland's Council led the way with a new rule in May 1943 that first-year students whose work in the first term was unsatisfactory would be excluded from lectures and practical work.314 At the end of that year, as part of Manpower directions, the government took a hand in deciding who should pursue full-time study and in what subjects. It was decreed that full-time students, or intending students of 18 years or more, must fill in National Service forms explaining what subjects they were taking, their present educational qualifications and marks gained in their last examinations, details to be verified by the registrar of their college or the principal of their last school. Those whose past records suggested that full-time study would be inappropriate might be directed elsewhere. Courses valuable to the nation would be approved more readily than others; except for those of rarest merit, law and commerce students could be part-time only, with daily employment allied to their studies. Approval once given would be withdrawn only if the student proved unsatisfactory, or if his qualifications made him necessary to an essential industry. In the long vacations all students were liable for direction to industry, the men for Territorial service. Extra-mural or part-time students already working in essential industry or liable to be directed there, could continue as they willed. This regulation meant, for instance, that at Canterbury between 450 and 500 full-time students from 1943 had to apply for permits to continue.315

Before and after the war many students sought holiday jobs, but in the summer of 1943–4 direction replaced choice. Full-time university and training college students were ‘Manpowered’ to essential work, and except for war-valued subjects—medicine, dentistry, science, engineering—the vacation was extended over March, to cover page 1172 more seasonal work. The prospects of being sent, willy-nilly, to freezing works, woolstores, hospitals, canneries, laundries or fruit and vegetable farms were discussed with some unease. Auckland's Craccum wrote bracingly: ‘Well, in the fourth year of the war it came. After much criticism by the public and by the students themselves, the Varsity war effort, up to the present rather negligible (if we discount the contributions of individuals acting on their own initiative) has been given some coherent direction’. This had not been received with enthusiasm. True, there were drawbacks to it: everyone knew that there was mismanagement in high places, and students might think the war rather unnecessary or fought for motives very different from those advanced by the propagandists. But now students as a body could show their willingness to bring the end of the war a little nearer, which would be in their own interests as much as in anyone else's.

There has been in the past a very general public tendency to regard the Universities as nothing more than refuges for selfish young hot-heads, all Communist or Socialist agitators, who are of little practical value to the community. Here's our chance to show we are at least capable of doing three months' work without any unnecessary fuss or self-glorification.

Don't get that doctor's certificate. Don't apply for that cushy job. Maybe Westfield won't be pleasant, but be a man, my son.316 During October Manpower officers interviewed more than 2 300 full-time students.317 Direction was not over-drastic. Those who found themselves reasonable jobs went to them. Those who lived at home were available from the start of December, those away from home would not start till after New Year.318 The Auckland Star on 19 October 1943 raised its voice against taking March out of the university year, ‘which seems to proceed from the notion that university education is a luxury that can be curtailed at will without loss to the community’; it would mean a shortened year for all students in order to obtain an extra months' holiday work from full timers, of whom Auckland would yield only about 300. There was concern among some parents and educationists about indoor work after a year's study319 and, especially for girls, about direction away from home and about the class of work, but in the event for many girls the work was not too arduous and the people encountered were page 1173 interesting. Others, such as those working as wardsmaids in hospitals, learned the realities of low pay and how far broken shifts could spread 40 hours of work, without overtime.320

In all, 1690 male university students worked that summer, joined during January by 388 from training colleges and by 212 teachers. Farming claimed well over 400. In the freezing works 291 university and 83 training college men students, plus 14 teachers, made a worthwhile contribution to that hard-pressed industry. The woolstores took 335, mostly from university; 241 did medical work in hospitals and 44 had scientific jobs; engineering, vegetable-growing and a wide range of labouring and other jobs took up the rest. Of the women (625 from university, 947 from training colleges and 558 teachers), 456 worked on farms, 170 in orchards, 513 grew vegetables; 23 had scientific jobs; in hospitals, 38 did medical work, 49 were nursing, and 97 did domestic work; many more did domestic work in other places and a wide range of assorted jobs.321

Some universities were rueful about their lost March; Manpower authorities paid polite tribute, especially to the freezing workers,322 and by no means all the students concerned were fully occupied. It was the ‘longest and most futile vacation’ in Canterbury's history, stated Canta on 4 April 1944; no one would complain if the shortened term had been justified by production, but between the farmers, the government and the weather, it was common knowledge that since mid-January the demand for student labour in Canterbury had not approached the supply.

The 1944–5 vacation was not extended. Students were urged to find jobs themselves and have these approved by Manpower officers; there would be holiday breaks both after the examinations and before the new term; women sent to domestic tasks in hospitals would work for one month only; men would be directed mainly to the woolstores, freezing works, farms, orchards and vegetable gardens; women to vegetables, hospitals and domestic work on farms; returned men and certain senior students were exempt.323 The pattern of work was much the same as in the previous year, though fewer were involved: 2123 university students as against 2315 in 1943–4, though the total university roll had increased by nearly 2000 to 7320. The numbers of training college students doing holiday work dropped by 381 to 954, teachers by 261 to 509.324

page 1174

By 1944 student numbers were rising steeply. Prospects of peace and general prosperity raised the appetite for study in the normal in-flow area, even for courses such as law and commerce where Manpower pressures would permit only part-time study. Ex-servicemen were beginning to appear. Thus at Auckland there were 65 holders of Service bursaries in 1944, and 140 the following year;325 students taking definite courses, including those exempted from lectures, numbered 1310 (1012 men, 298 women) in 1939; 1185 (904 men, 281 women) in 1940; 1247 (872 men, 375 women) in 1941; 983 (635 men, 348 women) in 1942; 1245 (847 men, 398 women) in 1943; 1946 (1438 men, 508 women) in 1944; 2284 (1789 men, 495 women) in 1945, and rolls would rise by 1000 in 1946 to 2680 men and 604 women.326 In August 1944 the Auckland Star reported that many Stage I classes were more than 100 strong, and for English I more than 200 packed into the largest room, with notebooks overlapping and elbows bumping. For physics, chemistry and mathematics, as no available rooms were large enough, classes were divided, with lectures and laboratory work repeated. With time spent on teaching thus increased, there was less for marking the higher stacks of papers, and written work was limited to ‘well below what it should be.’327 Similar roll rises occurred in the other colleges, as indicated in the totals tabled earlier.328

The heritage of the Depression, augmented by the war, made both staff and students patient about conditions. They were aware, through International Student Service propaganda, of the incredible difficultties in which some others studied. They were used to making do, to improvising. The Auckland Star also reported that a typical student comment was ‘It could be worse’; conditions hindered study and were a ‘confounded nuisance’, but it was thought that those who wished could get from the lectures all the help necessary to pass their examinations. The returned men, and others, anxious to make up for lost time, were not agitators for ideal academic conditions; they were concerned chiefly to obtain the teaching they needed to get them though their examinations and on with their lives. The dean of a hard-pressed science faculty held that during the war the colleges had ‘learnt how to do the maximum amount of essential work—teaching and research—with the minimum of resources. In the transitional period one of the things which has helped greatly page 1175 has been the atmosphere created by the ex-service student, his seriousness, his maturity, his desire to concentrate and his willingness to accept improvisations.’329

To men leaving the forces the government, through Rehabilitation, gave assistance over a wide field of occupation-oriented education, in which university career training courses loomed large.330 By March 1947 when it was all in full swing, the number of yearly grants towards accountancy courses, both in and out of universities, totalled 8060, followed by Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees with 2795 and trade courses with 2185 grants: accountancy qualifications were valuable in the Civil Service, banks and commercial institutions, while many of the arts students were or would be teachers.331

Most university grants were towards continuing studies interrupted by service, but some went to men who, from either youth or lack of opportunity in years shaded by the Depression, had been unable to embark on the university careers they desired but who had shown ability in the Services. The post-war professions would be studded with those who, but for war and Rehabilitation, would have worked in other places. In general the success rate was rewarding: over the whole educational field Rehabilitation reports noted high pass rates—in 1949 up to 83.2 per cent for full-timers and 45.6 per cent for part-timers—though these were influenced by concessions.332 Even those who did not complete a degree gathered qualifications and awareness that would enrich their lives; the passing of even a few units, besides contenting employers, gave deep personal benefit to many, in attitudes, in self-regard and in reading habits.

The older students often combined maturity, varied experiences and a strongly practical outlook with weak or remote academic backgrounds. On 30 July 1945 Craccum complained that returned men were given no help except war concession passes, which meant a lowering of standards that no sane university should contemplate. The slower-learning student, after five years of the physically toughening and unacademic environment of war, deserved more than vague promises of less being expected in marks; he deserved extra tuition and personal help.

Tutorials, taken for granted by later student generations, were then a rarity, but the ex-serviceman's need to question and clarify page 1176 was recognised and was met by special government grants.333 As a Canterbury writer on university reform put it: ‘They were offered supplementary lectures, but they said, “No, thank you, we want tutorials in small groups of not more than eight. We want to be able to take the tutor for a ride. We want to be able to clear up our difficulties in our own time and way.”’334 At Canterbury, which in 1947 had about 900 ex-servicemen among its 2467 students,335 the rector stated that during the previous two years there had been about 160 of these tutorial classes, covering upwards of 60 units or subjects, attended by servicemen in groups of eight or less: the work there had been beneficial to teachers and students alike and had stimulated a demand for similar teaching methods over the whole college, a ‘demand which it is impossible to meet in present conditions of staffing and accommodation.’336 After 1949, as ex-service student numbers diminished, the Rehabilitation Board's tutorial grants were tapered off, ending in 1951.

A professor of English noted that in such tutorials where topics were largely selected by the class itself, there has been a healthy tendency to get at the very fundamentals of the subject—to ask what literature is, and what criticism does— instead of proceeding on the hazy assumption that such fundamentals were settled. At the same time, the elementary terms in which such discussions have to be carried on show an absence of mental maturity in students even of mature years, so that there is a danger of lowered standards in too great a reliance on such classes. Another tendency that has to be resisted is a desire on the part of some students to turn such discussion groups into mere ‘cramming’ hours, aimed at the mechanical passing of examinations.

He added that in Honours classes, where the best of both the returned men and the younger students intermingled, ‘the most original and worthwhile work, the invigorating leaven of unusual ideas, has most often come from the maturer minds of the servicemen’; he was doubtful, however, whether the less able majority of them had gained much except a professional qualification.337

A history professor thought that returned men had in particular ‘taken a useful part in tutorial and discussion work. In the short run, they created great difficulties for our Stage III and M.A. work. page 1177 Their grasp at these stages naturally varied widely, but in many cases the added toughness and maturity arising from war service was beneficial to us all, including the staff.’338 A professor of education was conscious that many of the older men were thinking harder and with a fuller sense of responsibility than was usual with students; they were more critical and inclined to challenge situations, and they asked questions which normally did not come from the average student. Occasionally a man in difficulties would try a ‘bout of “wangling”’, but such cases were rare.339 On the other hand the acting head of a political science department, after speaking of the returned men's maturity and wide range of social experience, ‘particularly valuable in tutorials,’ went on: ‘Against this has to be set the fact that a high proportion of the students who are very weak academically are ex-servicemen. Many of these would never have become university students but for their eligibility for rehabilitation bursaries. Their presence in classes has not done much to depress standards because as a rule they don't participate in discussions.’340

The 1939 legislation enabling the University of New Zealand to make concessions as it saw fit to students in the Services was renewed in 1943, to remain in force for five years from the end of the war. The aim, as before, was to lessen the loss of time and standing caused by war service without lowering the standard of degrees or professional qualifications. Accordingly entrance conditions were eased, failures by small margins became passes, there were special examinations in March; there was slight easing in cross-credits between courses, in the prescribed order of subjects and in the time conditions for Honours and scholarships. Moreover, to shorten the time needed to complete a degree there was, after approved service, the option of complete exemption from one or more of the less essential subjects of a course, subjects which the candidate would not be taking to a higher stage. This concession could mean the gift of one or two subjects in arts, science or commerce, and up to four in law: law was a long course, lengthened just before the war, and it was arguable that most New Zealand practitioners would never concern themselves with constitutional or international law, or with conflict of laws, but the omission of jurisprudence was more regrettable. A leading professor of law assessed the merits and demerits of service and post-war study and concessions, and to a large extent his remarks could apply to other courses:

It was unavoidable that a five-year course should be cut down for a returned serviceman, and that his experience and maturity page 1178 should be accepted in lieu of some part of the course. But in my opinion concessions have been on a far too liberal scale for the good of either student or the profession. In many cases the concessions granted will seriously hamper the professional work of those who have received them. Greater maturity no doubt has enabled ex-servicemen to benefit more from their law course in some directions. For all that, far too much necessary academic grounding has been lost because of grants of exemption in subjects and because of the special March examinations where the student crammed the subject for himself in a few weeks, and there is no doubt in my mind that a number of poor students have been passed by a concession in marks who, had there never been a war, would have taken many years to qualify.

Standards were also affected by the taking of subjects during the war by members of the Forces. This work was all done extramurally, necessarily was of a lower standard, and of course done under conditions not conducive to proper learning of any subject. Libraries, enabling reference to cases, for example, were simply not available. This was inevitable, but does affect standards. One can only marvel at the pluck with which the study was done.

On the credit side has been a great increase in full-time study. Returned men who have had the time, thanks to Rehabilitation Bursaries, to learn to dig out their law from the reports and to follow up a hint given in lectures to its conclusion, have studied at least some part of the law intensively and this should help them enormously in practice, especially in their first few years .… Taking it all in all, the ex-service students developed habits of working harder, simply because they wanted to get down to the business of earning a living. On the other hand, much of the value of leisurely development was lost because of the far too practical attitude towards learning of many returned men. Some unwillingness to theorise and speculate has meant a loss of understanding. There was perhaps a bit more willingness to raise and discuss points in class, which might have been even more evident but for the increased numbers.341

The Rehabilitation Department, surveying examination results, found a pleasing record of success, with ex-service students doing rather better than the rest. In 1946, the full-timers passed in 70.8 per cent of the total subjects attempted, part-timers in 60.2 per cent;342 in page 1179 1947, passes in these groups were 79.3 per cent and 52.2 per cent respectively; in 1949, 83.2 and 45.6 per cent.343 The concessions involved may be gauged by figures supplied by Sir Thomas Hunter for the years 1939–47 inclusive.344

Applications considered Passed on marks(1940–7) Concessions granted
Degree 9300 1244 6136
Accountancy 5266 592 2868
Entrance 1252 36 874
15 818 1872 9878

Outside the classroom, returned men were active in student affairs and in sport, and some early tendency to form pressure groups was not maintained.345 Possibly their presence contributed to the growth, noticeable in student newspapers, of interest in public affairs, with less emphasis on inner college matters. Their presence, even the anticipation of their presence, must have influenced the vexed question of student representation on college councils: it was difficult to maintain that student bodies in which a substantial number had risked their lives and done responsible work were too immature to have any say in running their university. In this field the colleges varied widely. At Victoria since November 1938 a representative with voting power had been appointed from the students by their executive; at Canterbury the Council in August 1943 inaugurated a student representative to speak but not to vote; Otago in 1945 agreed that the Students' Association should appoint to the Council a graduate of two years' standing; Auckland's students in 1945 were battling for their place in the sun but did not get it till 1947.346

Returned men were only a part of the university scene in the late-war and post-war years. The overwhelming feature was the growth in student numbers, with staff and buildings relatively at a standstill. The government gave what seemed possible: in 1939 its grants to the universities totalled £157,000; in 1946, £455,000, with a further £146,000 for buildings, more than double the amount for that purpose in either of the two years before the war.347 But with the building trade distracted by shortage of materials and of houses, a few temporary buildings and the conversion of some larger Army page 1180 huts were the universities' ration. The dividing of classes and repetition of lectures, which even so had the air of public meetings, became commonplace, and staff quarters shared the overcrowding: for instance, in the English Department at Auckland one senior lecturer had a small room in a metal hut, another shared with a lecturer a dark and noisy room, and the professor's room was a classroom every day of the week.348

On staff–student ratio, Canterbury figures may be cited. There, in 1935–8, a staff of 75 both full-time and part-time taught 1032 internal and 108 external students; by 1945 the staff had increased to 86, while there were 1620 internal and 272 external students.349 There was also severe shortages of laboratory equipment and of some books. A professor of botany wrote in 1948, ‘The text book shortage is tragic; large classes of students have to share a single library copy of a book which all should use regularly.’350 Geography I classes at Canterbury had, since 1944 at least, been issued with cyclostyled copies of the set text-book no longer available in printed form.351

In these conditions two courses were possible: to build larger universities and recruit more staff, or to reduce student numbers by tougher entry and standards. The Auckland Star in August 1944 saw conflict between the idea of a university as the natural centre of an aristocracy of intellect and an institution where entry was a democratic right: ‘It is to be feared that the latter conception has won the conflict in New Zealand.’352 Voices, even some student voices then and later, supported the idea of reduced numbers,353 but the Star was right: the universities were bent on the expansion of staff and buildings. A year later another article in the Star said that New Zealand must compete for professors and lecturers on the world market: inbreeding led to stagnation and degeneration. It adversely compared local pay rates and staff–student ratios with those overseas—Auckland had one lecturer to 32 students: Britain, excluding Oxford and Cambridge which had one lecturer to 5½ students, averaged one lecturer to nine students; Sydney, 1:15; Melbourne, 1:17—saying that staff should be doubled as soon as possible.354 Canterbury had already urged increased salary scales: lecturers' pay, which then ranged from £300 a year to £650, should range from £400 to £1,000; for professors, then on £900–£1,000, the basic page 1181 salary should be £1,350.355 In January 1946 the Chancellor of the University of New Zealand, Mr Justice Smith, told the Senate that it was trying to run a third-rate university with no comprehensive view of its purpose and should, with the college councils, devise a five-year plan to raise standards. He spoke of teachers burdened with clerical work as well as over many students, and proposed as a first step full-time heads for all colleges at £2,000 a year. He also urged that instead of each college advancing its claims for money, there should be a quasi-independent third party, like the British University Grants Committee, to make financial recommendations to the government, and pointed to the British government's having recently more than doubled its university grant to £5.9 million.356 This was followed up strongly by Professor Ian Gordon357 in the New Zealand Listener. New Zealand had always run its university on the cheap and now enormous classes were straining buildings, staff and equipment inadequate 10 or 20 years ago. Rooms filled with two or three hundred were so common now that they had ceased to be even a grim joke; the largest were fitted with microphones and loud-speakers, laboratories were packed morning, afternoon and evening, with students queuing up for the available apparatus; pressure on libraries was such that students were facing examinations having had no chance of getting near some of the important books. In most departments, save for junior assistants, there had been no increase in staff in years, though student numbers might have tripled. This rise, claimed Gordon, was one of the most remarkable social changes in the country. He said that the 1944 roll of the University of New Zealand (at 6584) exceeded that of any British university in 1939 except London: Cambridge then had 6000 students, Oxford 5600, Manchester 2800, Edinburgh 3700. There was still good work being done here, but unless all concerned faced up to the need to pay more, the university would suffocate in numbers.358 A few months later he extended this theme: the university was at the crossroads, its choice one of profound significance for the future. Should it continue, as it had done largely in the past, to do a good job in the basic training of young undergraduates, or would it develop in addition a research programme that would bring the New Zealand university in line with those elsewhere?359

page 1182

The answer was to come piecemeal: in the years ahead lay a University Grants Committee, six separate, degree-conferring universities, the long pursuit of staff, buildings and equipment; and, mercifully unguessed at in the late Forties, further bewildering student increases. At a time of crisis the universities identified themselves with national needs, co-operated in a massive rehabilitation programme and were launched upon an expansion course that was to reflect national rather than university ideals.

1 'A to J1938, E–2, p. 3

2 Ibid., 1939, E–1, p. 3

3 Ibid., 1938, E–2, p. 3

4 Ibid., p. 20

5 WHN, ‘Education Department’, p. 212

6 A to J1946, E–1, p. 2

7 Evening Star, 28 Jan, 3 Feb 42, pp. 4, 4

8 Press, 28 Jan 42, p. 4

9 Ibid., 3 Mar 42, p. 4

10 Ibid., 17, 27 Feb 42, pp. 4, 6; Education Gazette, Apr 42, pp. 89 and 78, where a child reported: ‘Dad brought home a last and some leather yesterday and told us he was sending in a bill to Dr Beeby for shoe repairs.’

11 An exception was the special school for the deaf at Sumner, taken over by the military in December 1941. From its seaward position it was considered vulnerable and on 11 March 1942 the Christchurch EPS told the Minister of Education that it would be ‘nothing less than monstrous’ if more than 100 deaf children were brought to a place of danger. The military occupation continued till the beginning of 1942, the children meanwhile going to improvised schools in a large house at Fendalton. (A to J 1944, E 4, p. 4)

12 NZ Herald, 20 Feb, 14 Mar 41, pp. 6 & 11,6

13 WHN, ‘Education Department’, p. 234

14 Palmerston NorthTimes, 3 Feb 43, p. 4

15 A to J1943, E-2, p. 3

16 WHN, ‘Education Department’, p. 231; Auckland Star, 28 Nov 42, p. 6; Nz. Herald, 19 Dec 42, p. 4

17 NZ Herald, 30 Jan, 9 Feb 42, pp. 6, 6; Auckland Star, 10 Nov 43, p. 3; A to J1943, E–2, p. 3

18 NZ Herald, 24 Feb 42, p. 4

19 WHN, ‘Education Department’, p. 126

20 Auckland Star, 27 Oct 43, p. 4; NZ Herald, 8 Jan 44, p. 7

21 NZ Herald, 25 Nov 41, p. 6

22 Ibid., 10 Feb 42, p. 4

23 Ibid., 20 Feb 42, p. 6

24 Auckland Star, 20 Mar 42, p. 3 (photo)

25 NZ Herald, 1 Jul 42, p. 4

26 Ibid., 3 Apr 44, p. 2

27 WHN, ‘Education Department’, Table V, p. 55

28 Yearbook 1947–49, p. 931

29 Southland Times, 7 Mar 40, p. 4

30 A to J1947, E–1, p. 4

31 See p. 225

32 Evening Post, 23 Aug 40, p. 6

33 Ibid., 21 Mar 42, p. 9

34 Press, 7 Feb 42, p. 6

35 NZ Herald, 23 Oct 41, p. 2

36 A to J1943, E–2, p. 3. It seems that at least as many entered boys' secondary schools during 1916–18. Ibid., 1917, E–1, p. 5, 1919, E–1, p. 34

37 NZ Herald, 28 May, 12 Jun 42, pp. 2, 2; Otago Daily Times, 26 May 42, p. 2

38 F. M. Renner, headmaster Rongotai College, Wellington, NZ Herald, 31 Jul 42, p. 4

39 Ibid., 4 Aug 42, p. 4, quoting from National Education

40 A to J1943, E–1, p. 1; another report (ibid., E–2, p. 3) stated that the forces had taken 39% of post-primary men teachers. According to Yearbook 1947–49, p. 156, such teachers (excluding those in private or Maori schools) numbered 908 in 1940, dropped to 707 in 1942, rose to 759 in 1943, 878 in 1944 and 1044 in 1945, while the 630 women post-primary teachers of 1940 rose to 718 in 1943, 761 in 1944 and 838 in 1945; by 1947 there were 858 women and 1254 men.

41 NZ Herald, 28 May 42, p. 2

42 Ibid., 12 Jun 42, p. 2

43 Ibid., 6 Aug 42, p. 2; Evening Post, 23 Jul 42, p. 4

44 Press, 21 Nov 42, p. 4

45 Mrs R. G. Spooner, Opotiki, to author, 15 Sep 69

46 Evening Star, 21 Jul 43, p. 4

47 A to J1941, E–1, p. 2, 1942, E–1, p. 1

48 Ibid., 1946, E–1, p. 5

49 Smithells, Philip Ashton (1910–77): b UK; Superintendent Physical Educ Dept NZ 1939–47; Dir Physical Educ School, OU from 1947

50 WHN, ‘Education Department’, pp. 196–209, drafted by P. A. Smithells; A to J 1940, E–1, p. 4, and subsequent reports; Auckland Star, 27 Aug 40, p. 9; Dominion, 12 Oct 43, p. 3; NZ Herald, 25 Mar 44, p. 4

51 Education Gazette, 1 Aug, 1 Oct 42, pp. 184, 232, 1 Jul, 2 Aug 43, pp. 154, 196

52 A to J1943, E–1, p. 3, 1945, E–1, p. 4

53 Ibid., 1941, E–1, p. 5

54 Ibid., 1946, E–1, p. 3

55 Yearbook1945, p. 111, 1946, p. 130

57 Wellington Nursery Play Centre Association, Folder 30 (Wellington Central Committee Minutes 1941–4), Folder 31 (ditto, Minutes 1944–9), Folder 38 (Karori Play Centre Minutes & Correspondence 1941–2)

58 Press, 30 Jan, 12 Nov 42, pp. 2, 2. The committee comprised the five women—Dr Helen Field, Mesdames Read Masters and Hallam Gresham, Misses R. Wilkie and D. E. Dalton–with Dr H. E. W. Robertson and Messrs A. C. Brassington, W. S. McGibbon and L. C. Webb.

59 Press, 24 Nov 42, p. 2

60 Wellington Nursery Play Centre Association, Folder 27 (Annual Reports 1943–4, 1944–5); Auckland Star, 9 Dec 44, p. 8, 3 Mar 45, p. 3

61 A to J1944, E–1, p. 2

62 NZPD, vol 262, p. 935; A to J1944, E–1, p. 1

63 Auckland Star, 21 Oct 43, p. 4

64 In 1922 the Department of Education began providing correspondence classes for the primary education of children unable to attend school on grounds of remoteness or illness; classes were extended in 1929 to provide secondary education, to University Entrance examination level; by 1938 correspondence tuition had been further extended for young people unable to attend post-primary evening classes; the post-primary section of the Correspondence School outstripped the primary section within the next decade; and by the 1980s of a total of 19 000 students, 3500 were secondary pupils, nearly 13 000 tertiary, with 390 pre-school, 914 primary and 1248 pupils in need of specialised tuition.

65 Education Act 1914, sec 59; Mason in NZPD, vol 263, p. 573; NZ Herald, 14 Mar 41, p. 6

66 Press, 22 Aug 42, p. 6; Dominion, 7 Dec 42, p. 6; see p. 1131

67 The Agricultural Workers Act 1936 prohibited the employment for hire on a dairy farm of anyone under 15 years but this did not apply to boys working on family farms.

68 In 1942 the Labour Department confirmed that those under 14 were not employed on machines, adding, ‘it may be that in some workrooms, girls over 14 years of age are employed on power machines of the standard type, but the work is usually of a comparatively light nature.’A to J 1942, H–11, p. 4

69 Ibid., 1940, 1941, 1942, all H–11, pp. 3, 3, 4; only in the last two cited do the annual reports of the Labour Dept give figures for the under-14-year-olds

70 Ibid., 1943, H–11, p. 5

71 Otago Daily Times, 23 Nov 40, p. 8; Evening Post, 3 Apr, 23, 31 Jul, 11 Dec 40, pp. 15, 4, 6, 15, 20 Feb, 25 Mar 41, pp. 10, 6, 5 Feb, 24 Mar 42, pp. 6, 8; NZ Herald, 5 Feb 41, p. 10; A to J1943, E–2, p. 4

72 Evening Star, 26 Mar 42; Evening Post, 17 Aug 42, p. 4; Auckland Star, 4 Feb 43, p. 4

73 Otago Daily Times, 2 Aug 40, p. 5; Auckland Star, 28 Nov 44, p. 4

74 eg, NZ Herald, 22 Feb 41, p. 10, 31 Jan 42, p. 6; Dominion, 1 Sep 42, p. 4; Evening Post, 1, 6 Nov 41, pp. 8, 11

75 Otago Daily Times, 2 Aug 40, p. 5; see p. 1046

76 NZ Herald, 11 Jun 42, p. 2

77 Evening Post, 23 Jun 43, p. 6

79 Press, 23 Oct 41, p. 4

80 Hare, Labour in New Zealand 1942, pp. 35–6

81 Auckland Star, 15 Dec 42, p. 2

82 Ibid., 21 Dec 42

83 Ibid., 31 Dec 42, p. 2

84 Press, 23 Dec 42

85 Ibid., 8 Jan 43, p. 6

86 Dominion, 7 Dec 42, p. 6; see p. 1128

87 Press, 6 Mar 43, p. 6

88 NZPD, vol 262, pp. 246–7

89 Ibid., pp. 247, 316

90 Auckland Star, 20 Mar 43, p. 6

91 Press, 9 Mar 43, p. 6

92 Ibid., 9, 11 Mar, 19 Apr 43, pp. 6, 4 & 6, 6; Evening Post, 6, 13 May 43, pp. 4, 4; Calder, p. 542

93 Press, 3 Apr 43, p. 4

94 Ibid., 17 Mar 43, p. 4

95 Ibid., 3 Apr 43, p. 4

96 Ibid., 16 Apr 43, p. 4

97 Ibid., 5 Apr 43

98 Evening Post, 6 May 43, p. 4

99 Star–Sun, 15 Apr 43, p. 4

100 Dominion, 5 May 43, p. 6

101 Ibid., 5, 8 May 43, pp. 4, 4

102 Evening Post, 22 Jun 43, p. 3; A to J1943, E–1, pp. 2–3

103 NZPD, vol 263, p. 586, also pp. 591, 663; Dominion, 6 Aug 43, p. 4. A. J. P. Taylor, stating that the British 1944 Education Act made religion compulsory for the first time, did not attribute this to stronger Christian convictions, rather the reverse. Hitherto it had been assumed that schools would provide religion without being told to do so, but now the Christian devotion of teachers and parents could no longer be relied on, and Christianity had to be propped up with legislative enactments. English History 1914–45, Pelican edition, p. 689. Angus Calder wrote: ‘Future historians of the decline of religion may well conclude that the making compulsory of the joyless and perfunctory service in schools was all that was needed to consummate the process. However, it seemed at the time to be a triumph for the Churches.’ The People's War, p. 545

104 NZPD, vol 263, pp. 110–11

105 Domnion, 21 Oct 43, p. 4

106 Ibid., 9 Dec 43, p. 4, 27 Jan 44; Press, 19 Nov 43, p. 4

107 Auckland Star, 6 Jul 44, p. 6

108 Dominion, 5 Oct 44, p. 4

109 Auckland Star, 30 Oct 44, p. 6

110 A to J1946, H–11, p. 4; see p. 1129

111 Yearbook 1947–49, p. 931

112 The population of Auckland increased by 25 440 between 1940 and 1944. Auckland Star, 16 Sep 44, p. 6

113 A to J1945, E–1, p. 2

114 NZ Herald, 18, 26 Feb, 6 Apr 44, pp. 4, 8, 4

115 Ibid., 9, 10, 18 Feb 44, pp. 4, 4, 4

116 Ibid., 24 Sep 42, p. 4

117 Dominion, 9, 10 Feb 44, pp. 4, 4

118 Ibid., 25 Sep 44, p. 6

119 A to J1945, E–1, p. 2; Auckland Star, 19 Dec 44, p. 6

120 NZ Herald, 2 Feb, 12 Apr 44, pp. 2, 6; Auckland Star, 31 Jan 45, p. 3

121 NZ Herald, 6 Apr 44, p. 4; Auckland Star, 19 Jul 44, p. 6

122 NZPD, vol 263, p. 233

123 Dominion, 23 Jul 43, p. 3

124 Auckland Star, 3 Aug 44, p. 3

126 Lambourne, Nelson Thomas, ISO('37) (1877–1966): Dir Educ 1933–40

127 Education Gazette, 2 Oct 39, pp. 197–8

128 Evening Post, 1 May 40, p. 9

129 See pp. 124–7

130 Evening Post, 9 Jul 40, p. 8

131 Education Gazette, Dec 41, p. 250

133 Dominion, 11 Dec 42, p. 6

134 Press, 11 Dec 42, p. 2

135 Ibid., 21 Nov 42, p. 6

136 Auckland Star, 25 Jul 42, p. 3

137 Press, 16 Jul 42, p. 4

138 Evening Post, 23 Jul 40, p. 13

139 Ibid., 25 Oct 41, p. 11

140 Ibid., 12 Nov 41, p. 6

141 Taranaki Daily News, 12 Aug 40, p. 9

142 Dominion, 7 Jul 43, p. 6

143 Auckland Star, 9 Nov 43, p. 2

144 Ibid., 4 Dec 43, p. 4

145 Press, 20 Jul 40, p. 14

146 Ibid., 15, 24 Aug 40, pp. 6, 8

147 Ibid., 16 Aug 40, p. 14

148 Ibid., 15 Aug 40, p. 8

149 Star–Sun, 24 Jun 42, p. 6; Press, 19 Sep 42, p. 4

150 Press, 25 Oct 43, p. 4

151 Evening Post, 22 Aug, 25 Sep 40, pp. 8, 9

152 Auckland Star, 20 Aug 40, p. 5

153 Dominion, 7 Mar 41, p. 9; NZ Herald, 24 Apr 41, p. 11

155 NZ Herald, 17 Dec 42, p. 2

156 Press, 11 Sep 42, p. 4

157 Auckland Star, 4 Dec 43, p. 4

158 Dominion, 19 Dec 42, p. 8, 13 Sep 43, p. 4

159 Evening Post, 20 Apr 43, p. 4

160 Ibid., 24 Nov 41, p. 9

161 Ibid., 6, 15 Dec 41, pp. 10, 7; Press, 17, 24 Nov 41, pp. 6, 6; NZ Herald, 20 Dec 41, p. 10; Education Gazette, 1 Dec 41, p. 255

162 Palmerston NorthTimes, 8, 14 Jan 42, pp. 7, 4

163 NZ Herald, 4 Feb 42, p. 6; Evening Post, 5 Feb 42, p. 9

164 Evening Post, 6 Mar, 23 Apr 42, pp. 6, 8

165 Palmerston NorthTimes, 23 Mar 42, p. 3

166 Evening Post, 21 Oct 42, p. 7

167 Press, 4 Mar 42, p. 6

168 NZ Herald, 22 May 42, p. 5

169 Point Blank, 15 Oct 40, p. 25; Press, 22 Oct 40, p. 9; Evening Post, 28 Oct 40, p. 6

170 Straight Furrow, 15 Nov 41, p. 12; A to J1941, H–11A, p. 10; also Hawke's Bay Daily Mail, 25 Jul 40, p. 6; NZ Herald, 5 Aug 40, p. 4; Evening Post, 28 Oct, 26 Nov 40, pp. 6, 4; Otago Daily Times, 1 Nov 40, p. 6; Press, 29 Nov, 6, 18, 24 Dec 40, pp. 8, 8, 8, 6

171 NZ Herald, 19 Dec 41, p. 6; see p. 1129, fn 67

172 Press, 6 Nov, 5, 13 Dec 41, pp. 4, 6, 8

173 A to J1942, H–11A, p. 6; also NZ Herald, 5 Nov 41, p. 8

174 Auckland Star, 11 Dec 42, p. 2

175 Ibid., 2 Dec 42, p. 4

176 Dominion, 5 Dec 42, p. 6

177 NZ Herald, 4 Dec 42, p. 4

178 Dominion, 22 Oct 42, p. 4

179 Auckland Star, 19 Dec 42, p. 6; Dominion, 2 Jan 43, p. 4; NZ Herald, 10 Dec 42, p. 2

180 Journal of Agriculture, 15 Dec 42, p. 321

181 Press, 19 Dec 42, p. 4

182 Dominion, 3, 5 Dec 42, pp. 6, 6; Press, 7 Jan 43, p. 2. For Army Scheme, see p. 720

183 Dominion, 4 Dec 42, p. 4; Otago Daily Times, 4 Dec 42, p. 2; Press, 19 Dec 42, p. 4

184 Press, 5 Dec 42, p. 3

185 Ibid., 27 Nov 41, p. 6; Evening Post, 26 Nov 40, p. 4

186 Auckland Star, 16 Oct 43, p. 2

187 Dominion, 29 Dec 42, p. 4

188 Auckland Star, 25 Feb 43, p. 6

189 Ibid., 17 Nov 43, p. 4

190 Dominion, 19 Nov 43, p. 6

191 Auckland Star, 16, 22 Oct 43, pp. 2, 4

192 Ibid., 8 Dec 43, p. 6

193 Ibid., 16 Dec 43, p. 6

194 Ibid., 5 Oct 43, p. 4; NZ Herald, 19 Jan 44, p. 4

195 NZ Herald, 19 Jan 44, p. 4

196 Ibid., 5 Feb 44, p. 8

197 A to J1944, H–11A, p. 36

198 Ibid., 1945, H–11A, p. 84

199 Calder, p. 250

200 Ibid., p. 251

201 NZ Herald, 27 Jan 42, p. 2; Salient, 23 Apr 42; Dominion, 8, 19 Jun 42, pp. 6, 2

202 Ball, Lieutenant-Colonel Douglas George, OBE('46) (1895–): teacher 1919–27; inspector native schools 1928, senior inspector Head Office 1940; Dir AEWS 1942–6; Asst Dir Educ 1950; chmn Maori Educ Foundation from 1961

203 NZ Observer, 17 Mar 43, p. 13

204 NZ Libraries, Jul 44, pp. 97–116

205 The bulletin's editor was Captain Leicester Webb, in civil life a university lecturer and leader-writer on the Christchurch Press. Press, 9 Mar 43, p. 4

206 Ibid., 10 Dec 42, p. 4; NZ Herald, 10 Dec 42, p. 2; A to J1943, E–1, pp. 4–5

207 Dominion, 19 Jun 42, p. 2

208 Press, 2 Mar 43, p. 3

209 Truth, 22 Sep 43, p. 21; Auckland Star, 12 May 43, p. 2

210 Report of Lincoln Agricultural College, on War History File, ‘Universities and the War’ (hereinafter WHF, ‘Universities’)

211 Evening Post, 28 Nov 44, p. 5

212 Ibid.

214 See p. 175

215 Dominion, 14 Sep 35, p. 10; see pp. 175–6

216 Evening Post, 17 Dec 35, p. 12

217 Heard on the steps of Victoria University College, Wellington, in September 1938, by author

218 Statutes Amendment Act 1939, sec 53

219 Otago retained its foundation title of ‘Otago University’, the other three were named Canterbury University College, Auckland University College and Victoria University College (Wellington).

220 Minutes of the Senate of the University of New Zealand 1938, p. 16

221 Ibid., 1942, p. 27

222 Ibid., 1936, p. 23

223 Ibid., 1939, p. 72

224 Ibid., 1940, p. 87

225 Ibid., 1941, pp. 66, 68

226 Ibid., 1946, p. 76

227 Packer, Professor John (1899–): b Aust; lecturer then Prof Chemistry CUC 1923–65; chmn Canty branch NZ Inst Chemistry 1936, Dom Pres 1949; member Academic Board NZU 1943–61, Senate 1954–61

228 University Reform: report by a committee of Canterbury University College Students' Association, p. 9

229 Salient, [1940], vol III, no 8, [p. 3]

230 Minutes of Senate… 1940, pp. 59, 73

231 Evening Post, 9 Oct 40, p. 11

232 Minutes of Senate… 1942, p. 50

233 Ibid., 1946, p. 56

234 Salient, [1940], vol III, no 8, [p. 3]

235 Evening Post, 14 Jan 41, p. 10

236 Beaglehole, p. 232

237 A to Js 1940 to 1947, all E–7, Table M2

238 Ibid.

239 Sir Thomas Hunter, Report of the War's Impact, dated Dec 1948, p. 2, in WHF, ‘Universities’

240 Evening Post, 24 Mar 42, p. 4

241 NZ Herald, 1 Apr 42, p. 4

242 Hunter, Report of Dec 1948, p. 5, in WHF, ‘Universities’

243 Professor R. O. McGechan, Replies to Queries by Sir Thomas Hunter, 27 Apr 48, ibid., p. 14

244 Soper, Professor Frederick George, CBE('50) (1898–): b Wales; Prof Chemistry OU 1936–53; OU Council 1944–51, 1953–63; Senate NZU 1946–61; Vice-Chanc OU 1953–64; Dir Woollen Mills Research Assn 1937–50, Dep Dir Scientific Development (Chemistry) DSIR 1942–5; Pres NZ Inst Chemistry 1947; Vice-Pres NZ Royal Soc; exec Wool Industries Research Inst 1957–68, dep chmn 1963; chmn NZ Nuffield Advisory Cncl 1960—73

245 Hunter, Report of Dec 1948 and accompanying documents, WHF, ‘Universities’; F. G. Soper, ‘Chemistry in New Zealand’, in Journal of NZ Institute of Chemistry, Nov 75, pp. 99–100; Otago Daily Times, 14 Mar 43, p. 4; NZ Herald, 10 May 41, p. 10; see p. 493

246 Danilow, Nicholas (1896–); military service Russia 1916–17; left Russia after Revolution 1917; to NZ 1939, school teacher 1942–55, 1942 lecturer VUW in German, introduced 1st NZU course in Russian, retired as Associate Professor 1968; Visiting Prof AU 1968–9

247 Otago Daily Times, 17 Apr 40, p. 13; Danilow to Historical Publications Branch, 1979

248 Dominion, 19 Jan 44, p. 6

249 NZ Slavonic Journal, Supplement to No 5 (Winter 1970), pp. 1–3; NZ University Calendars 1944–50

250 See p. 224ff

251 NZPD, vol 257, p. 230

252 Otago Daily Times, 22 Nov 40, p. 5

253 Press, 14 Jun 41, p. 12

254 Denham, Dr Henry George (1880–1943): Prof Chemistry CUC from 1923, Rector from 1941

255 Press, 14 Jun 41, p. 12

256 Ibid., 21 Jun 41, p. 5

257 Beaglehole, pp. 191–2, 213–18; W. Appleton in a 1938 election speech, ‘I know a little about Victoria College. There were Communists at Victoria College when I was there and there are ten times as many there now…. The spirit of Communism is permeating our scholastic system from the professors down.’ Evening Post, 28 Sep 38, p. 22

258 See p. 230

259 Otago Daily Times, 16 Mar 40, p. 9

260 Bennett, Bishop Frederick Augustus (1872–1950): 1st Bishop of Aoteoroa 1928

261 Hawke's Bay Daily Mail, 4 Jul 40, p. 8

262 Begg, Neil Colquhoun, OBE('72) (1915–): Dir Medical Services Plunket Soc, Pres Medical Assn NZ; 2NZEF 1941–6; paediatrician Dunedin Hospital 1949–56; author; chmn NZ Historic Places Trust

263 Otago Daily Times, 2 May 40, p. 6

264 Ibid., 3 May 40

265 Kiwi, 1941, pp. 3–4

266 Dickie, Very Rev Dr John (1875–1942): Prof Presby Theological Hall, Dunedin 1909, Principal 1928; Moderator Assembly 1934; theological writer

267 Evening Post, 8 May 40, p. 4

268 Rollings, William Penrose (1905–43): b Aust; lawyer; member VUC Cncl from 1939

269 Evening Post, 1 May 41, p. 8

270 As an unskilled carpenter, Alun Richards faced an uneasy future. This was relieved by Andrew Fletcher of Fletcher Brothers, a firm with a great future, at the suggestion of the carpenters' union secretary taking him on as an adult apprentice. Besides learning to build houses, he wrote weekly articles for the New Zealand Listener, signed A.M.R., for about three years, then worked for Internal Marketing and Economic Information, and later for CORSO, before returning to the Church. There, besides ministering, he edited books that in Britain, the USA and the Pacific pioneered comic strip techniques to convey serious ideas. Information from Alun Richards, Oct 75

271 Evening Post, 11 Dec 40, p. 13

272 Ibid., 26 Apr 41, p. 8

273 Smith, Hon Sir David, Kt('48) (1888–): Judge Supreme Court 1928–48, 1949–50; VUC Cncl 1939–45; Chancellor NZU 1945–61; chmn NZ Bd Trade 1950–9

274 O'Leary, Rt Hon Sir Humphrey, KCMG('47), PC, KC (1886–1953): VUC Cncl 1934–46, chmn 1941–6, NZU Senate 1943–5; Chief Justice NZ 1946–51

275 Luckie, Martin Maxwell Fleming (d 1951 aet 83): lawyer, Wgtn City Cncl 1913–47, Dep Mayor 17 years; chmn Wgtn Manpower Cmte 1940; chmn No 4 Armed Forces Appeal Bd 1941; VUC Cncl 1921–31, 1939–49

276 Evening Post, 26 Apr 41, p. 8; full text of resolution, ibid., 29 Apr 41, p. 6

277 Hunter, Sir Thomas, KBE('39) (1876–1953): b London, educated NZ; Principal VUC 1938–50, former Prof Philosophy; NZU Senate from 1912, Vice-Chancellor 1929–47

278 Evening Post, 27 Jun 41, p. 6

279 Combs, Frank Livingstone (1882–1960): Vice-Principal Wgtn Training College 1936–8; twice Pres NZ Educational Institute

280 Evening Post, 27 Jun 41, p. 6

281 Ibid., 25 Jul 41, p. 6

282 Ibid., 7 Jul 42, p. 4

283 R. S. Parker, F. L. W. Wood, J. C. Beaglehole, A. W. Free, A. Eaton Hurley, W. P. Rollings

284 Evening Post, 13 Jul 42, p. 4

285 Barrington, Diary, 17 May 43

286 Evening Post, 25 Sep 42, p. 4

287 See p. 262

288 See p. 263

289 Press, 1 Sep 42, p. 4

290 Acland, Henry Dyke (1867–1942): CUC Bd Governors from 1909, chmn 1918–28; NZU Senate from 1928

291 Press, 29 Sep 42, p. 5

292 Ibid., 29 Feb 44, p. 4

293 Ibid.

294 Canta, 13 Apr 44

295 Press, 14 Apr 44, p. 4; Canta, 27 Apr 44

296 Canta, 8 Jun 44

298 Beaglehole, p. 235

299 Salient, vol IV, no 5, 6 Jun 41, p. 2

300 Beaglehole, p. 235

301 Spike, 1940, p. 77; Beaglehole, p. 242

302 Salient, 17 Jun 42

303 Ibid., 14 Jul 43

304 Ibid., 4 Oct 44

305 Otago Daily Times, 1 Jul 40, p. 6. Later suggestions to emulate Victoria in contributing to War Loans failed to carry the Otago students' executive. Salient, 14 Jul 43

306 Craccum, Apr 42

307 Spike, 1939, p. 73, 1942, p. 33; Beagkhole, pp. 235–6

308 Salient, 2 Jul 42

309 Spike, 1941, pp. 36–7; Evening Post, 29 Sep 41, p. 4 (abridged)

310 Critic, 6 Apr 44

311 Ibid., 22 Jun 44

312 Salient, 26 Mar 42, 26 May, 11 Aug 43

313 Ibid., 9 Jun 43

314 NZ Herald, 18 May 43, p. 2

315 Press, 13 Oct 43, p. 2; Dominion, 26 Apr 44, p. 4

316 Craccum, 13 Oct 43

317 A to J1944, H–11A, p. 37

318 Dominion, 8 Oct 43, p. 4

319 Truth, 22 Dec 43, p. 7, NZ Herald, 16 Mar 44, p. 4

320 Dominion, 29 Nov 43, p. 6

321 A to J1944, H–11A, pp. 17, 37

322 NZ Herald, 4 Dec 43, p. 8; Auckland Star, 16 May 44, p. 4; Craccum, 4 Oct 44

323 Critic, 1 Sep 44; Craccum, 4 Oct 44

324 A to J1945, H–11A, p. 85

325 Craccum, 28 Jun 45

326 From Table M2 in A to Js, E–7, for the years concerned

327 Auckland Star, 15 Aug 44, p. 7

329 Professor R. Jack, Otago, Replies to Queries by Sir Thomas Hunter, nd, on WHF, ‘Universities’, p. 6

331 A to J1947, H–18, pp. 12–13

332 Ibid., 1951, H–18, p. 7, and see p. 1178

334 G. S. Troup in University Reform…, p. 18

335 A to J1948, E–7, p. 2

336 Professor A. H. Tocker, Replies to Queries by Sir Thomas Hunter, 3 Oct 47, WHF, ‘Universities’, p. 8

337 Professor S. Musgrove, ibid., nd, p. 22

338 Professor F. L. W. Wood, ibid., nd, p. 10

339 Professor A. B. Fitt, ibid., nd, p. 21

340 K. J. Scott, ibid., nd, p. 11

341 McGechan, ibid., 27 Apr 48, pp. 14–15. The Hon Sir David Beattie, Governor-General, formerly Mr Justice, in a broadcast interview on 3 February 1980, said that he and his contemporaries were ‘known to some of our colleagues as “LIB Rehab”.’ He mentioned the March examinations and said that the standard was not as high as it is at present.

342 A to J1948, H–18, p. 10

343 Ibid., 1949, H–18, p. 10, 1951, H–18, p. 7

344 Hunter, ‘Concessions’, p. 6, in WHF, ‘Universities’

345 Craccum, 6 Jun 46

346 Ibid., 6, 28 Jun, 5 Oct 45, 19 Jun 47

347 Hunter, Report of Dec 48, pp. 5–6, WHF, ‘Universities’

348 Musgrove, Replies to Queries by Sir Thomas Hunter, ibid., nd, p. 22

349 Tocker, 3 Oct 47, ibid., p. 7

350 Professor H. D. Gordon, 31 Mar 48, ibid., p. 12

351 Information supplied by P. Wheeler, Mar 80

352 Auckland Star, 26 Aug 44

353 Craccum, 6 Jun 46

354 Auckland Star, 14 Aug 45, p. 6

355 Evening Post, 2 Apr 45, p. 4

356 Ibid., 17, 22 Jan 46, pp. 12, 6

357 Gordon, Professor Ian Alistair, CBE('71) (1908–): b Scotland; Prof English VUC 1936–74; Vice-Chancellor NZU 1947–52, member University Grants Cmte 1962–72; 6 overseas visiting university posts, NZ rep 3 internat conferences; AEWS Pacific & Japan 1944, 1946

358 NZ Listener, 15 Feb 46, pp. 14–15; Yearbook 1946, pp. 142–3

359 NZ Listener, 10 May 46, pp. 12–13

* includes 862 male and 44 female students on short courses at agricultural colleges

includes 1086 male & 2 female students on short courses at agricultural colleges