Salient: Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Vol. 32, No. 2. 1969.
'Stop: I cannot finance this...'
'Stop: I cannot finance this...'
I Am Glad To have the opportunity of discussing higher education and its place in the New Zealand economy in an atmosphere such as this, and I want to take the opportunity of bringing together some of the many points made during the past year or two since I first raised this question.
After raising the matter briefly when addressing a meeting in Christchurch in early 1967, I deliberately put the following in the 1967 Budget:'
"There is, I believe, general agreement on the essential need for adequate expenditure on education. In recent years expenditure has increased much more rapidly in the university field than in other areas of education. This is no doubt attributable in part to the rise in the university student roll which has now reaehed almost 24,000, double the number of nine years ago. Over the same period, the share of resources devoted by Government to the universities has increased at a much higher rate than the share of resources expended on education generally. The upsurge in spending on university education points to the need for some reappraisal of the allocation of scarce resources of money and personnel to ensure that they are being expended in the manner most beneficial to the New Zealand people.
The presentation of the Budget was immediately followed by a statement from an officer of the New Zealand University Students' Association suggesting that this was flying a kite for a decision to reduce university spending. In fact what I have aimed to do throughout. and I believe successfully, is to stimulate discussion and investigation.
Normal selective newspaper reporting from my own speeches and the speeches of others has given an impression of violent disagreement. but at no time have I attempted to put forward dogmatic views on this subject, on which I am not an expert, and most of the speakers who have discussed the matter in public have understood this.
• Thirty years ago, the 1937/38 year, total education vote $9.4 million—of this, higher education 2.8%, that is to say $270,000 for all purposes. Adding expenditure on senior technical education would lift it to $300,000, or about 3% of the whole education vote.
• Higher education vote last year—21% of the total, not $300,000. but $36.3 million. Current building programmes:
|Wellington||over $14 million|
|Waikato||approaching $7 million|
|Massey||over $15 million|
|Christchurch||over $10 million|
|Lincoln||over $2 million|
• Thirty years ago expenditure on education as a percentage of national income— 2.73, $7 per head of population. On the change of government in 1960/61. 3.91 — $36.70 per head.
• The current year. $66.70c per head — over 5% of national income, which of course in not known yet. In absolute figures:
of this, the figures relating to higher education have increased in a greater proportion in every respect.
• The latest Treasury estimate of projections for university spending excluding technical institutes.
This allows for inflation at an annual rate of 2½%. and includes only $7 million for qualitative improvement, a figure which I believe is too low. These qualitative improvements include improvement in the staff/student ratio, improvement in major faculties such as medicine, arising from the development of the new school at Auckland or the adoption of the Christie report at Otago. increased expenditure on equipment such as the installation of computers, or improved bursaries for students.
The interest of the Minister of Finance is his endeavour to reconcile the views of all the sectors of the economy which are competing for resources—the impossible task of assessing qualitatively and qualitatively the merits of increased expenditure on hospitals, social security benefits, secondary industry, land and forest development, education in all its forms, basic and applied research both in and out of the universities, police, law and order, and all the other elements which make up the total economy.
Overiding criterion—the best interests of the whole population, both in the short and in the long term- an impossible task, but nevertheless my reason for being keenly interested in such an important sector of the economy. No room for waste.
The Robhins report on higher education in Britain points out in paragraph 25 that one of the objectives Of being at a university is the practical one of preparing oneself for a career. and pointed out that Confucious said in the analects that it was not easy to find a man who had studied for three years without aiming at pay.
The Report suggests that the ancient universities of Europe were founded to promote the training of the clergy, doctors and lawyers, and that although at times there may nave been many who attended for the pursuit of pure knowledge, they must have been a minority.
A somewhat similar point of view from the aspect of the country at large appeared in the Parry committee report in New Zealand. It said that if New Zealand wants to foster more and more advanced study of its own life and problems, then the universities will have to be equipped to carry out such study, much of it at the more expensive graduate level, Chapter 2 of that report makes a strong case for devoting additional resources to universities for the purposes of New Zealand's economic development.
The two themes emerge from each of these studies:—
The maximum benefit to the individual as a motivating force, and the maximum benefit to the mass of the people—that is the economy.
I have been accused of "bringing an accountant's mind to bear on the matter." It is extremely difficult to measure results even in terms of personal satisfaction, in terms other than which can be correlated by an accountant. If they can't be measured, it is difficult to compare them.
An article in Minerva by Sir Eric Ashby, Professor of Botany, Master of Clare College, Cambridge, and a Member of the the University Grants Committee in Britain:
"Constaints imposed by government are few, and some impinge on the essential autonomy of the university, in such things as control over the admission and examination of students, control over curricula, control of appointment and of tenure of academic staff. but opportunities for influence by the Government occur once in every five years when the quinquennial grant is announced, and from time to lime during the quinquennium when capital expenditure grants are decided upon, or when increases in salaries are announced. That it is inevitable that hands of some sort will be laid upon the universities, but it is important that they predominantly be the hands of other Dons, that is the committees of Vice-Chancellors and the University Grants Committee."
Taking some topics in detail: I believe that the rapid increase in the absolute amount, the percentage of national income and the amount per head of population in university spending, will reach a point in the foreseeable future where some Minister of Finance in some government will say "Stop, I cannot finance this". I have pressed for an examination of this by the appropriate authorities so that this head-on collision may be avoided.
I have suggested that if our resources, both in the physical sense and in manpower, brains, are limited, then we should first limit those areas of education which are less important to the economy in its broadest sense
We do not have to cut out anything, but if there is to be a limit on growth it should be first applied in the less vital areas.
John L. Moffat wrote recently: "The Minister of Finance has raised a very valid question—the economic value of education. In suggesting that university courses should be pruned of subjects that make a minimal contribution to the economy, he has not in my view come up with a very realistic answer. To eliminate it (that is man) would require an immense knowledge of history, sociology, anthropology. psychology — the very subjects in short which the Minister would cut out."
The Minister would not cut out any of these subjects, but if expansion had to be limited. some of them and others might be those which it would be appropriate to limit.
Similarly, Professor Henderson, late of the Department of Civil Engineering at Canterbury: "I would suggest that Mr Muldoon release the detailed records on which his figures are based, so that the qualifications of the incoming and outgoing groups may become public knowledge, otherwise Mr Muldoon leaves himself open to the reproach that he is playing his cards so close to his chest that he can't see the cards himself."
These are the groups that are entering and leaving New Zealand.
"I would certainly agree with Mr Muldoon's remark that the new post-graduate scholarships are having a marked effect in keeping bright young men within New Zealand.
"The effect is much more permanent than the two or three years' currency of the scholarships themselves, for this period gives each young man time to acquire a permannt emotional commitment to a New Zealand girl. Once he does so. we can let him leave the country confident that he Will eventually return."
An interesting point.
The source of the figures was of course stated in my address
I spoke at Masey University early last year on the introduction of computers into New Zealand universities, and the expansion of computer applications to the point where every person graduating at present should have some understanding of the assistance that can be obtained from a computer in the field in which he proposes to work, because during his productive lifetime this power will be available to him.
Part of my remarks on that occasion arose from a lengthy discussion which was arranged at my request with John Diebold in New York, who is looked upon as the world's foremost authority on computer applications. He is the head of a multi-million dollar company which devotes itself entirely to computer applications.
Professor Henderson, however, was critical in these terms: "Not only did we have a computer at Canterbury by 1960, but from that dale we included large sections on numerical analyses and computer techniques in all three stages of our engineering mathematics courses. Now Mr Muldoon's advisers could have found this out by spending 50c on a University of Canterbury calendar." and so on.
Well of course we would have spent the 50c on the calendar had we known which calendar to buy, but we knew about Canterbury's computer anyway.
"Mr Muldoon quoted an eminent American to the effect that New Zealand is unlikely to develop its own electronic industry capable, for instance, of making computers. Speaking not for myself but quoting another Canterbury department. I should tell Mr Muldoon that our electrical engineering department begs to differ from his American adviser, and I would throw in my own opinion to the effect that the advice of the man on the spot may well be worth more attention than that of the remote 'overseas expert' who so impresses the New Zealander. This is particularly true if the man on the spot is saying 'it can be done'. and the overseas expert is assuring you that it can't."
Diebold just happens to be number one in the world. But apart from that the mass production of components in what is now becoming known as the semi-conductor field, is so labour-intensive that American corporations are setting up factories in such countries as Formosa, South Korea and Singapore, solely because they would otherwise be priced out of the American market
"But Mr Muldoon's remarks leave me with the impression that although he is trying to he helpful he is not perhaps getting enough competent advice for him to appreciate what a vigorous influence a good university can have on professional practice and on society's problems generally. May I ask how Mr Muldoon's advisers Dot their facts about the universities? None of them to my knowledge ever pays us a visit, and as I have said, they can't afford the price of a university calendar, so how do they get any sort of feel for what is going on in the universities. I don't know, but they do seem to speak with all the confidence and conviction of the utterly misguided."
All good stuff. Some of you will know that my official advisers are graduates, part-time lecturers in many cases, and in some cases current under-graduates. Some of you will know that I personally made a round of every university in this country a year or two ago, and discussed with Vice-Chancellors and staff their plans for development, not just of buildings and equipment, but of courses
I don't quote Professor Henderson in a critical sense, but simply to illustrate that in the field of public controversy it is important to make some investigation of one's facts, otherwise ammunition is being fired off at the wrong target and there is no real interchange of ideas.
Now the question of failures
Failures are wasteful. What do they cost? I asked Treasury to make an assessment for me. They came up with the round figure of $3000 for a student failing three subjects on a full-time basis, or $1000 per unit.
Quote Mr P. A. Amos. M.P., Auckland Star, March 6. 1968: "Mr Muldoon has said open-door admission resulted in a higher failure rate than overseas where entry was selective, and each failure cost New Zealand $1000, making a total waste of $10 million a year. The figure $10 million seemed a fantastic sum plucked out of the air. or arrived at by an accountant who ignored the real economic situation "
Not plucked out of the air—calculated by a Treasury officer who is a graduate of one of our universities.
I checked the theory, and the only field in which I claim expertise is that of cost accounting, and made up in this manner:
Income foregone by a student during the university year —about $1400
Current university spending per student —about $1040
Current cost of occupying buildings —about $620
Total $3060 rounded to $3000
This assumes a post-tax income over the full year of $2100; current government and private spending on universities of $16 million divided by the number of full-time students, which at that time was 15,500; the cost of buildings, being the capital cost, at 7 percent. being interest at 6 percent and depreciation 1 percent, divided by the number of full-time student equivalents enrolled.
The figures may be rough, but would be as near as is possible by any other method, and obviously a round figure of $10 million is simply a measure of the degree of waste and not a precise calculation.
So how do we do something about it? $10 million is worth doing something about. If we lighten up on entry, we get less failures, but we lose potential graduates. This is certainly, in my view, a matter for the responsible authorities to balance the loss of graduates against the cost of getting the final marginal graduate. The economic waste would I believe vary according to the discipline concerned, and brings back the concept of weighting the various faculties in terms of economic return.
Late last year I had a visit from Dr Llewellyn formerly chairman of the University Grants Committee, and now Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter. We have had many chats over the years on the future of university education, and he took the opportunity of his visit to have another.
In the course of our discusion he made the point that in Britain out of 100,000 students qualified to enter university, only 50,000 are accepted, yet Britain gets as many graduates from that 50,000 as New Zealand proportionately would gel from 100,000. He is very strongly of the opinion that the small student failure rate of 5 percent in Britain and in Exeter 3 percent, is highly desirable, because a graduate has normally graduated without any failures, whereas in New Zealand failure of some units is normal and in his view the student becomes failure-orientated.
I can't place a value on this criticism, but there is obviously some strength in his argument.
The next day I was addressing a group of secondary school headmasters in Wellington, and gave them these comments, although I asked the Press not to print the fact that they had come from Dr Llewellyn. Accordingly they were published, and I was immediately under fire from all kinds of quarters for making this shocking suggestion. The Press, being alert and alive to these situation, contacted Dr Llewellyn and asked him what he thought of my comments. One of the headline that came from that interview was:
"Ally for Minister in open-door varsity criticism: Criticism by the Minister of Finance. Mr Muldoon, of what he calls the loose screening system which allows a conglomerate mass of students to enter university has been echoed by a visiting university head from Britain. Dr Llewellyn said in Christchurch page 5that because of rigid selection and competition for entry, the student failure rate in Britain rarely now exceeds 5 percent — at Exeter it was 3 percent. "New Zealand's policy has been that all who qualify are entitled to enter a university," he said. "The public conclusion seems to be that it is more beneficial for a student to enter for only one year than not to attend at all. There is something to be said for this, but is it possible for New Zealand to go on with relatively easy entry to university when the number of students is rising disproportionately to the increase in population? I am quite certain Britain could not afford New Zealand's present provision. The cost of each student to the British taxpayer is higher from $1400 for an arts student, compared with $600 to $700 in New Zealand. However, for a New Zealand student failure is part of his expectation. Most will fail something at some stage. The British student is elected in expectation of success. Whatever was done in New Zealand should be done deliberately and slowly."
He gave warning of the new situation in his last Grants Committee report to Parliament in 1966. Well, it was no surprise that he supported the views that I had expressed, having regard to the fact that the views originated with him. Going back to University Grants Committee reports, there are two which are worth quoting at this point:
(1) Extract from University Grants Committee report for 1965:
"In its report for 1964 the Committee set out details of the new quinquennial grants to the universities to meet their recurring costs for the five years ending 31 March 1970. It also recorded a warning that the cost of maintaining the policy of open entry to the universities, declared by Government of both parties, would be considerable over the next few years and whether that policy can be maintained or whether the universities will be compelled to use their powers of restriction of entry depends on whether the New Zealand community is prepared to meet the cost. The main issues remaining now that the quinquennial grants have been approved are those of staffing and buildings, and the problems associated with these are salary scales adequate to enable the universities to compete for staff in the world market and the difficulty of implementing the university building programme in conditions of an overstrained building industry. These two problems are likely to be major concerns of the university system for the years immediately ahead when student enrolments are increasing rapidly."
(2) Extract from the report for 1966:
"Universities have developed in different ways at different times but two broad systems of higher education can be distinguished. There is the broadly based comprehensive system with its large numbers of students typical of North America and there is the small, selective, hierarchial system of the older countries of Western Europe. It is this latter restrictive system which is today being found to be inadequate for modern needs and which in Britain will be radically overhauled if the recommendations of the Robbins Committee are implemented. This Committee based its report on the proposition that there should be a place for all who can satisfy the entrance requirements and who wish to proceed to high education.
Governments of both parties in New Zealand have declared a similar policy—that faculties will be made available in our universities for all young people who pass the University Entrance examination, who wish to go to university, and who are prepared to study hard and successfully while they are there. The implications of this policy for our universities are far reaching indeed. Not only is their traditional right to select whom they shall teach severely restricted, at least in the first year, but the quality of their work—their other traditional rights of determining how and what they shall teach—are largely determined by the staffing and physical facilities made available to them from the only significant remaining source, the Government.
"There is therefore an obligation on the community to see that the demands it makes on the universities are matched by the facilities to meet those demands. The cost of maintaining a policy of open entry to the universities will be considerable, particularly over the next few years. Whether the policy can be maintained or whether the universities will be compelled to use the powers of restriction of entry given to them by Parliament in their acts depends on whether the New Zealand community is prepared to meet the cost. The main costs are those of staffing and buildings."
In Britain, however, economic events of recent years have caused a change in British Government policy for the expansion of universities, which was introduced with such a flourish just a few years ago. Apart from generally cutting down, there has been a recent crash programme, and this is the kind of thing that I fear we might strike in this country at some time in the future. I quote from the Economist, August 17, 1968:
"The universities of Britain are on vacation — the Vice-Chancellors and Professors are orating round the world at conferences; lesser dons, like everyone else, sporting by the sea. If this were term-time the uproar from them would be deafening. An as yet unpublished letter from the University Grants Committee to its clients tells them that they must stop all their plans for new buildings except where contracts have been already signed. This could hit as much as half the £10 million capital spending plan for the current year. Last January when the government announced its schemes for moderating the future growth of its own expenditure, the universities escaped amazingly lightly. A little capital spending was to be deferred in the next couple of years, but no item of current spending was touched and politically-conscious academics assumed that the enforced lag in capital spending would not last long. Things look very different now. Quite suddenly it has become the fashionable thing to deplore what was until very lately the fashionable thing to praise. This sudden shift of public favour away from university expansion combines in its inner recesses the envy of the young and the hatred of intellectuals that are among the chief banes of English political life. It is compounded by uncomprehending funk of the world craze for student militancy, which incidentally has so far caught on only among very few students here. The worst sort of long-term damage that any country can inflict on itself is to prevent its citizens getting the education they need, demand, and are ready for. Re-organising the universities, pressing them to become more useful, more economical in the use of funds, more valuable to their students, is one nest of crabs that all governments have shirked. Cutting them down is quite another affair. The educational record of Mr. Wilson's administration is already disastrous. This is the crew that has crippled the growth of secondary schools and postponed the raising of the school leaving age. One hopes that some politicians will have the guts to protest and loudly, even if students, like coloured immigrants, have become an unpopular minority in the increasingly bizarre world of some politicians' imaginations."
I find very little in that to disagree with. Am I an exception if I am prepared to criticise? I am prepared to advocate if necessary re-organising the universities, to press them to be more useful, more economical in the use of funds, and more valuable to their students. The alternative in my view is what is happening in Britain at present.
In my Massey address I first quoted some statistics of arrivals and departures of graduates, showing that in the 1966-67 year the arrivals exceeded the graduates, with a bias towards those disciplines closest to the needs of the New Zealand economy. Criticism of these statistics was that I had deliberately selected a year which proved my point.
As it happened, I had simply asked for the latest figures, and this is what they showed. Earlier figures showed a similar pattern, although it is fair to say that the next year, 1967/68, when it became available, showed a different picture, with an inflow of people in such fields as Biology and similar sciences, and an outflow of physicists and the like.
It has been said that this outflow in more recent times arises from the disparity in salaries. I believe — although this is not capable of being proved — that it correlates better with the outflow of total population which was occurring at the same time. During he coming year we will test this, as I feel sure that our net outflow will turn into a new inflow again, as is normal. Be that as it may, there is very little in it in terms of numbers, and those who advocate a massive increase in salaries across the board would find that the total cost involved represents a very rich price to pay for the relatively small change in numbers which would fill all the vacant positions. This may nevertheless be the solution.
Before accepting it however, one must assess the difficulties that are raised through comparability of salaries with graduates in the other state services and in private industry, and this in turn raises the question of comparability between professionally qualified people and administrators.
I cannot believe that university salaries is the only field in which New Zealand should compete internationally. The kind of question that I want to have answered is:
Given this disparity in salaries, why have so many overseas people come to New Zealand universities? How is it that we have nearly doubled the number of scientific staff in government departments in a period of only ten year? Do overseas graduates come to New Zealand because they can get better promotion relative to their own quality than they can at home? Does that in turn mean that our universities are staffed by the low quality rejects from other countries, together with those New Zealand graduates who are unable to compete on the international market? I doubt whether the answer is as simple as that.
Strangely enough, the Robbins report on stalling refers to the evidence of what it calls "Persistent emigration of first-class talent overseas, not only of scientists but of arts graduates." The report refers to some of the factors involved, and observes that probably the most important single factor which leads a man of ability to seek a career abroad is the existence of good facilities and enough money for research, the availability of technical and secretarial help, and generous allowances of sabbatical leave at regular periods.
Is this then, what we should do, rather than simply increasing salaries. If this is the British view, and salaries there surely are reasonable, how does the New Zealand position compare in that respect?
I come back continually to the view that is supported by all of the available statistics, and that is that the more effort we put into producing graduates in fields closely associated with the New Zealand economy, the more likely we are to keep them. In terms of economic return, this is in my view our best investment, and none of those who have contributed to this topic have been able to deny this fact.
The real cost of our universities is too high for us to make general educational and vocational sense facilities available to students who will fail all units. The return is in no way commensurate with the cost to the economy. In the vocational sense particularly, I am convinced that many student failures at university would be successful technical institute students in some other fields, and I am quite certain that from every point of view, and particularly the point of view of the student himself, it would be better if he had been directed there in the first place.
I have also discussed the university scholarship scheme which, because a student who aims to succeed should preferably concentrate on the more mechanical subjects where he can get 100% for all correct answers, inevitably leads our top brains into the field of the physical sciences where, if they are to really get to the top, it is essential for them to proceed overseas. I believe that there is a need for a thorough review of senior secondary school courses, and that they should be either much more general or alternatively concentrate much more on the biological sciences, which are much closer to the New Zealand economy. Specialisation in these fields will give students every bit as much satisfaction as they will get from other subjects, and at the same time enable them to stay in New Zealand.
Among the many helpful comments that I have had from one end of the country to the other, one is worth quoting as typical, and I will simply quote the summary without any detail of the supporting arguments:
"While the 1967 National Research Advisory Council report on technical manpower presents figures on graduate production in various disciplines and makes projections of likely graduate production, the factors influencing the choice of subject by students are less well documented. The effect of the university scholarship examination on the choice of subjects and the lack of guidance of students is discussed, especially at university level."
This is the same point that I had made earlier.
Efforts to influence students towards areas of interest vital to New Zealand are outlined with attention directed to determining at what average age level polarisation into science or arts or within science itself occurs in New Zealand students.
"The need for forecasting the country's needs for specialists in given disciplines is mentioned, with a caution that providing students are encouraged to have a wide training, errors in forecasting need not have disastrous effects in the future. The need for prospective employers of graduates to encourage students to take degrees of benefit to the country is stressed, and as an example, short courses offered by a D.S.I.R. division are described. Such efforts help both the country and the prospective employers. The necessity for more effective student guidance is emphasised as a means of reducing the student failure rate, and the influence of the present examination system on the failure rate is examined in relation to a university elsewhere.
"It is shown that the proportion of Stage 3 students proceeding to Honours varies greatly from discipline to discipline, those subjects of greatest current relevance to New Zealand tending to advance a lower proportion of their students than subjects such as physics or mathematics. The University Grants Committee should consider ways of altering this trend by, for example, careful channelling of research funds into subject areas of likely immediate relevance to New Zealand. The universities can make some economies in the cost of graduate training, and in effect obtain an enlarged faculty by making greater use of competent professional skills outside the university for graduate training. This has the useful side effect of encouraging students towards fields of value to New Zealand. A reduction in the number of graduate schools in a subject could also affect economies, and at the same time raise standards."
I believe that attention must be given both to the movement of graduates into and out of teaching positions in the universities from industry and the public service, and also the reduction in numbers of schools. This is more easily reconciled if the concept of the residential university is accepted.
I have quoted the topics raised by this particular person as a example of the kind of thought that has been stimulated. It is no part of my thinking that I should find answers to these questions, but I do expect the University Grants Committee or some other competent authority to do it.
During the ten years from 1956-57 to 1966-67 university expenditure increased six-fold from $4.4 million to $26.8 million per annum. During the same decade primary expenditure doubled, secondary education expenditure rose by between two and three times. Student numbers increased from 8900 to 21,000 over that period, an increase of 138% but not six times.
Over a period of several years I have discussed the problem of competitive entry, whether to the university or to specific disciplines, with the Vice-Chancellor of every one of our universities. In some cases the position has changed hands since I obtained these views, but not one of those that I consulted opposed competitive entry. I cannot think that a Government in this country would act on this matter without a firm recommendation from the universities themselves, preferably expressed through the University Grants Committee, but it seems that the weight of informed opinion favours competitive entry rather than the watering-down of standards through a lack of resources.
The position that we have reached, then, is that there has been a good deal of public and private discussion of these matters, with some movement likely in the immediate future.
The committee on education, training and research of the National Development Conference has produced a confidential draft report which deals with some of these matters. The report is still to go before the final plenary session of the conference, where the demands for resources from the various sectors will be considered, and I hope co-ordinated.
After that it is for the Government to examine the recommendations to see whether they are acceptable. At the same time the committee of the Vice-Chancellors has been meeting, and proposes to hold a conference during March, 1969, at which the following topics will be discussed:
• If the failure rate is too high, how can it be reduced?
• How the average time for graduation can be shortened.
• Whether procedures beyond those already in existence are necessary to regulate the development of specific fields of study in the universities.
• Whether the particular needs of New Zealand, both as to number of type of graduates are being filled, and if not, what steps should be taken to improve the situation.
• The role of the universities in research.
• The relationship of the universities to the technical institutes.
• Teaching standards at the universities.
• Greater efficiencies in the employment of university plant and resources.
• The role of universities in continuing education.
• The university in the community.
• Consideration of the report of the Royal Commission on salary and wage-fixing procedures in the state services.
• Consideration of the future arrangements regarding the representations made on behalf of the universities concerning salary matters.
It is not often that a Minister of Finance can say that he is happy.
At this moment I am reasonably happy that the subjects which I have raised provocatively during the past two years have engaged the attention of responsible people to the extent that they are likely to take steps to see that some at least of these problems are solved.