Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Student's Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 3. March 19 1968
Muldoon 'unsuitable' as minister
Muldoon 'unsuitable' as minister
The Minister of Finance, Mr. Muldoon, was unsuitable as a Cabinet Minister, an organiser of the Peace, Power, and Politics in Asia Conference said on Sunday.
On Thursday, Mr. Muldoon refused to allow the conference to use New Zealand currency to pay the fares of three speakers, Jean Lacouture, Conor Cruise O'Brien and Felix Greene.
Mr. Alister Taylor, now paid organiser of the conference, and formerly Secretary of the Students' Association and President of NZUSA and the V.U.W. National Club, said on Sunday: "Mr. Muldoon is unsuitable to be a cabinet minister because of his insensibility to public opinion.
"It is obvious that Mr. Muldoon has used his public office to further his private prejudice.
"When the world's financial system is collapsing how does the Minister of Finance find time to deal with $3,600 of expenditure?
"We have heard of politics being controlled by generals in some countries, but never before of a government bowing to what it thinks are the wishes of 200 privates.
"We are surprised by the primitive 'Cold War' attitude of senior cabinet ministers."
But the cabinet may not be unified on this policy," he said.
"Mr. Holyoake has asked three times during the last few weeks for free and wide discussion on Vietnam.
"He wrote us a four-page letter hoping that the conference would produce a set of realistic alternative policies."
It was reported to Salient by another informed source that Mr. Holyoake had said privately he knew nothing of Mr. Muldoon's decision till he read of it in the newspaper.
Mr. Taylor said that Mr. Holyoake's office had been approached since the announcement.
His secretary had said that this was a matter entirely for the Minister of Finance. Mr. Holyoake did not have time to see us this week.
But at 2 p.m. today a delegation of Trade Unionists is to see the Prime Minister. Mr. Taylor said the delegation would bring the matter up if necessary.
The conference organisers have also arranged to discuss the matter with Mr. Muldoon, at a time yet to be decided upon.
A Spokesman for the VUW National Club said that it decided at its committee meeting last Tuesday evening to co-sponsor the Peace Power and Politics in Asia Conference to be held in Wellington shortly.
Officials of the Peace, Power and Politics Conference believe there telephone is being tapped.
They say that a side effect of tapping telephones is that the power tends to drop off.
This has happened a number of times. During one conversation with a more extreme left-winger the power faded out completely.
The theory is that this phone was also tapped, doubling the fading effect.
The organisers had to get the faults service to check their line two or three times one day.
When the repairman manager came to fix it be said "there is something funny about the line at the exchange."
When the phone was first installed nobody managed to contact the number given, though outward calls were satisfactory.
After some difficulty the correct number, 42-699, was obtained.
Conference officials believe this number would be particularly easy to tap "because it is at the end of a bank of lines".