Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 7, No. 8. August 9, 1944
International Relations Club — Small Nations in the Post-War World
International Relations Club
Small Nations in the Post-War World
The last meeting of the International Relations Club had as its speaker the Consul for Belgium, M. Armand Nihotte. In his introduction he said it was a matter of concern to students whether brute force or justice should rule the world. In introducing his topic of the evening, the question of small nations, he stated that New Zealand, another small nation, had earned the lasting gratitude of the Belgian people by the action of their gallant fighting men. He illustrated with an anecdote the real importance of small nations apart from the military strength at their command.
In dealing with the "Big Four" M. Nihotte considered it questionable as to whether the larger nations could or would give justice to the small nations. To prove this point the Consul quoted from statements by certain leading British spokesmen such as Sir John Simon, Lloyd George, G. D. H. Cole and others. He spoke of the dangers to small nations of such ideas as those of Neitsche and pan-Germanism. Again, he quoted from the "Times" editorial and Goebbels expressing the same imperialist sentiments in regard to the lesser powers. He was able to quote from further utterances and actions of prominent British and U.S.A. statesmen to prove in his view the essential immorality of all big powers.
"What if Europe had submitted?" was his question to bring to the notice of his listeners the value of the Underground movements of Europe to Britain and the U.S.S.R.
The conclusion of the Consul's address was in a far from optimistic vein —the recent formation of a European council consisting so far of U.S.A.. Britain and the U.S.S.R., had done nothing to encourage him.
Questions from the floor covered a wide field of views and ideas, from the convinced "imperialist" to the left. Questions on the international bank, recently set up, on the "independence" of smaller countries, on the League of Nations, an extension of the British Commonwealth and future organisations, and Scandinavian democracy, provided food for further thought.
Mr. Stan Campbell broke things up in moving a vote of thanks from the floor, and Mr. J. Miller announced the forthcoming talk by Lieut.-Colonel Orde-Lees on the "Mind and Culture of the Japanese People."