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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 1 March 8, 1939

A Message From Mr. Savage

A Message From Mr. Savage

"Salient" has pleasure in presenting a message to freshers specially written for this paper by the Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. M. J. Savage. Study this article carefully. It contains more epigrammatic wisdom, more commonsense subtle advice, than any similar message we have seen.

The staff of "Salient," and, we are sure, the whole University, is deeply grateful to Mr. Savage for his pointed and unforgetable remarks.

I appreciate the opportunity of contributing a message to the student journal "Salient."

Although it is the privilege of age to give advice, it is the prerogative of youth not to heed it, so I shall be content with offering a sincere message of goodwill to those of Victoria University College students who are entering upon a University course. Their youthfulness and opportunity are to be envied, and if they could have my experience they would know the importance of making the most of the splendid chances that have come their way.

artwork depicting a man holding a book with buildings in the background

The imperfections which mar society to-day will be removed by the development of better institutions and by a clearer usocialu outlook on the part of individuals. University trained men and women have greater opportunities than most of acquiring the knowledge and habits of thought which make for leadership in the broadest sense of the term.

May I say with the best goodwill that, unfortunately, the possession of high academic degrees is not always accompanied by a well-developed social conscience or even breadth of mind. Education sometimes appears to be very narrow. I have known many intelligent people who have had no University training at all, and yet have been worth knowing, and I have met others whose great cleverness and learning were only equalled by their cocksure ignorance of the things that matter.

I cannot imagine any greater quality in man or woman than that of a broad mind always open to new ideas. With that, of course, must go understanding and exact knowledge. It ought to be reasonable to say that these qualities should be acquired with greater facility by those who have undergone a University training.

The Government's policy in respect of education is simple and clear enough to be understood even by professors who have become politically-minded. We aim at making New Zealand a competent nation in all arts and crafts instead of keeping it in part as a remote farm of the United Kingdom and using the remainder as an emporium of overseas manufactures.

Development means a full use of all the talents of the people.

We are trying to build in this country a better form of society, and we need the help of highly-trained and educated men and women. I would like to close this message, therefore, with the appeal that students should equip themselves to the fullest extent for the great tasks that will be theirs in the years ahead.

M. J. Savage,

Prime Minister.