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The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, 1939

This New Zealand

page 44

This New Zealand

At the moment of writing, a second major war has commenced. That it should have commenced is utterly wrong: but, faced with its presence, it is for the peoples of the world to preserve their sanity and to end it as quickly as possible. When the end comes there must be no repetition of Versailles. The extracts in "This New Zealand" taken from the Press, seem to reveal the ease with which people can accept ridiculous statements and ludicrous relationships. From now on, it is a duly to examine every phrase as to its ascertainable truth.

Sir,—My parents came to New Zealand in the early days. Father was a schoolmaster. He taught in various Government schools on the West Coast. We were great friends of Dick Seddon. I can hardly contain my indignation over that cruel attack which Mr. J. A. Lee has made on all those other people who pioneered this country with their pack-horses.

Just fancy a Socialist coming along now and telling us that" our parents and grandparents were possibly vagabonds and the "scum of the earth!" It's not fair! I'm only one individual, but I have my feelings and I am not going to be dragged down by people like Mr. Lee who don t know what others have done for us.

Surely the Early Settlers' Association will take this up and demand an apology from Mr. Lee, who should be made to tear the pages out of his book before it is put into the shops. He's not playing the game to attack those who are dead in their graves.—Letter to "Dominion."

* * * *

"I do not want to see the Maoris in Castlecliff, They should not be there at all; they are a menace," said Mr. D. Ross, a member of the board. "I have seen the Government houses near Raetihi for Maoris. They should make application to be housed there. The place for the Maoris is up the Wanganui River. The further they are away from the city, the better for them"—"Dominion."

Loveliness is, or should be, the business of all women; loveliness of face and figure, loveliness in the home, loveliness of thought and speech have enormous influence in a world which to-day is desperately trying to keep up the standards of life and thought.

And so we ought to dress up. and this season's fashions are "pretty" first and smart afterwards.

Pretty colours, pretty flowers, pretty frillies have much to do with the loveliness of femininity that brings happiness to democratic civilisations.—"Evening Post."

* * * *

"I doubt whether any party has ever had a system of organisation so complete in its activities stretching through every walk of life in the community" Mr. Hamilton said. "It is becoming more and more realised by the people that our party has no 'axe to grind' and is not sectional in any of its aims. It stands as the spearhead of the fight for good government for all the people as against bad government— government that is 'class-conscious.'"—"Dominion."

"I am more scared of thunderstorms than earthquakes," said Mr. Baird. "And I am not scared of thunderstorms; I regard them just as everybody else does."—"Dominion."

* * * *

From the time an overseas financial expert declared that the New Zealand Government's social security scheme was an unsound and impracticable proposition, there has been great uneasiness in the minds of the women of this country . . . Any interference whatever between a woman and her doctor is an outrage. The doctors are a noble army of men who have never, in any way, or at any time, let their patients down, and We can never be grateful enough to them for their united and determined stand against this Government's attempt to socialise them. . .—Letter to the "Dominion."

* * * *

"I threw the bottle and the stone at the police to frighten them off the streets on picture nights," was the explanation of a Maori, Tuakana te Purei, aged 18, who was charged in Ruatoria with assaulting the police.

It was stated that accused galloped past on a horse, and as he passed the police, threw a bottle with such force that it broke against a building. Accused returned almost immediately and threw a stone which missed its target and made a big dent in an iron wall.—"Dominion."

* * * *

Four lambs were born to a ewe at Okato on Saturday. Two died, but the farmer saved the other pair by the adoption of unusual means. He had to visit New Plymouth and he took the lambs, snugly nestled in a hay-box with hot-water bottles. On his return he restored them to their mother, and at the latest advice all three were doing well.—"Taranaki Daily News."

Attlee, Lenin-like, speaking incisively and with personal animosity, but without distinction of phrase, had Kept his eyes throughout on the Prime Minister.—"Catholic Herald"

* * * *

Once again, as in 1914, we are faced with the primal law of Nature, the Weak to the wall; the religious and humanitarian theories of civilisation have not yet been able to amend it," said Mr. F. C. Dunn, proposing the toast of the Canterbury Infantry Regiment, N.Z.E.F.. . .—"Evening Post."

page 45

Sir,—On the question of social security a young supporter of the Labour Party said to me recently the old people are entitled to live in luxury. My reply was: "Old people are entitled to what they have earned." If they have worked hard and long and have saved enough to live on they are entitled to have all the luxury they can buy without being taxed for others.

If they have worked hard but have, through no fault of their own, failed to provide for their old age, they are entitled to be provided, for by the funds of the country. If they have not worked nor tried to save, but have selfishly spent all they got on themselves, they are entitled to any scraps left after the others have been attended to. Unfortunately the latter class is the one which receives most sympathy from the Socialist Government.

That being my view of social security and being myself included in the first of the three cases, I have gone on strike. 1 am leaving to-day, after having tried this country for seven years. I prefer the land of lions and millionaires, where the natives are becoming Christians rather than this country, where the young people are becoming pagans.—Letter to "Dominion."

* * * *

Asked why she had acted in this way, the defendant said she did so entirely for health reasons. She did not belong to a nudist club but had practised nudism ever since she could remember.

"I do not know why that should make any difference," said the Magistrate, "there is not very much difference between nudism and the latest bathing costumes. Why did you not wear a bathing costume?"—"Evening Post."

* * * *

Salvation Army prayer meetings were held in Wellington last night as part of a world series being held in 90 countries within 24 hours to invoke the Divine blessing on the deliberations of the High Council of the Salvation Army. . .—"Evening Post."

* * * *

Though he had not been in Germany very long he had gained the impression that Herr Hitler had done a great deal of good for the people generally, said Mr. Macphail. Herr Hitler's purges had included all aspects of life. . . Mr, Macphail said that at a fair he attended at Berlin machine-guns trained on figures of men were used in the shooting booths, and tanb^s and models of other weapons used in modern warfare were mounted on the roundabouts.—"Dominion."

Sir,—It is gratifying that at least one of your correspondents, "Desdichado," endorsed the necessity for a serious attempt being made to construct proper defensive measures along our coast. Concrete pill-boxes, electrified barb wire entanglements in front, men armed with automatic rifles in those pill-boxes and concrete dugouts, and field guns behind them, then no alien foot can soil a single square inch of our glorious New Zealand.

An enemy may bombard us from the sea and bomb us from the air, but his efforts gain him nothing if he is unable to set foot ashore. We can hold him off for years if necessary. Surely any intelligent child can realise this.

Is it impossible to prepare such a system of defence? Is it impossible to find in this country a man big enough and resolute enough to initiate and direct such an undertaking? I venture to suggest that the Hon. R. Semple can do the job, and thousands will rush to carry out the work. Let us who have a proper sense of responsibility and love for New Zealand demand that Mr. Semple be given the responsibility to start at once. There is no time for worthless talk.—Letter to the Press.

* * * *

The tension and political turmoil in Europe, created by the dictators, has resulted in Britain getting back her unconquerable soul. The British nation which for twenty years has been mildly bored about the tyrannies and troubles of Europe, has now pulled up and said: "We've had enough." And history has one char lesson: When Britain declares she has had enough a change begins. Always the last to move, how often through the centuries has this lethargy been mistaken for decadence, her placidity for decay. A bulldog does not bark—it bites. Every tyrant that has dreamed of world conquest has in his day matched his strength with the British. The tyrants have turned to dust and the empires they have built are only memories. But dictators believe that Britain is not the Britain of old, but it is the same old fallacy that has broken tyrants through the centuries. Let us not forget Mons, the Marne. Messines. Zeebrugge. That is the spirit of the British. That is the unconquerable soul of Britain. It lives to-day as it lived in the days of old, and it will destroy tyrants as in the past. And Britain is prepared as never before—"N.Z. Manawaiu Gazette:" 30/8/39.

* * * *

Auckland Zoo authorities are delighted with the achievement of the Wellington cock emu in producing three healthy chicks from a clutch of six eggs, particularly in view of "earthquake," rain and hail and almost consistently unfavourable weather, including two severe storms.

Although Wellington my claim the paternity record for 1938, it is felt that the event is yet another triumph for Auckland, seeing that Auckland originally supplied Wellington with its stock—"Dominion."