Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol 6, No. 5. May 5, 1943
"Salient" is an organ of student opinion. Does this necessarily preclude a knowledge of facts in its editorials? In the issue of April l4th the editorial, after sweeping through educational history in ten lines, says:
"So with the W.E.A.—a workers' educational scheme, but how many workers attend the lectures? Take any census and you will find that 75 per cent of the attendances are by bourgeois intellectuals."
Your readers may be interested in the statistics for Wellington for 1940 and 1941, the most recent available. These are published in the annual report, which is available to anyone. These are enrolments:
|Manual and Craft Workers||418||283|
|Professional and Business||199||136|
|Shop and Office Workers||251||172|
|Secondary School Pupils||235||103|
|Others (including prisoners)||264||348|
According to your editorial writer all except the first category are "bourgeois intellectuals."
The report for 1940 shows 30 affiliations to the Wellington District Council, each of which has a representative on the Council, and through this voting power the dominant voice in governing the W.E.A. locally. Of these affiliations 27 are trade unions, 2 are employees' associations and the other is the V.U.C. students' association. "The bourgeois W.E.A." exists only in "Salient's" editorial; in fact, it functions through and for working people, most of whom have been inside a University College only to attend W.E.A. classes there.
Max Riske, President,Wellington District Council, Workers' Educational Association.
And No Quarter
Not being on the staff of "Salient" I do not know whether or not Messrs. Hayman and Witherford are justified in saying that "original material has been excluded from 'Salient'," but I must agree with them in their description of "crudely presented overseas propaganda which has the effect of damaging those causes it purports to further"—and many others with whom I have discussed the matter think the same. In this respect there seems to be in the College, at present, a small group, very, very anti-Fascist conscious, who are making a lot of noise, and who, having deified Russia and all she stands for In their own minds, are trying by the use of much tiresome propaganda to bring the rest of the College to worship with them. However, possibly that is away from the main point, which is a suggestion that there may be more student support for Hayman and Witherford than was inferred by editorial comment on their letter.
May I express my appreciation of your leader "In Place of an Editorial"? This brief article says more than a whole issue of "Salient" devoted to this subject could possibly say. Quite apart from filling one with an overpowering nausea of disgust, it shows only too clearly that the German soldier has proved himself no better than his brother beast-in-arms, the Jap. Such conduct is not bestial—the beasts of the field at least obey healthy, natural instincts—the behaviour of these debased forms of humanity is such as to defy description. And to judge from the stories broadcast from Berlin as attributable to the Bolsheviks, the German soldiers are perpetrating even worse atrocities upon their wretched Russian victims.
So which is the lesser evil: these appalling outrages or the just wrath of the over-run peoples when they have the opportunity of using a free hand' and a policy of "no quarter" against their tormentors? Are we to deny to these downcast, violated and helpless creatures their just revenge? We cannot shut our eyes to what they are suffering, but it almost seems we should have to stand by and witness the carnage that would follow. Sanguinary ideas, no doubt, but what action is sufficiently drastic to counterbalance these unheard-of brutalities committed by those who call themselves the "Herrenvolk" and their "yellow-devil" accomplices? A New Order in Europe? Maybe, but not until the over-run peoples have themselves been able to apply a policy of "no quarter."