Last night’s protest which prevented Lord Salisbury attending the annual Student Union Dinner and Dance is widely reported in the national press today. The Mail, Telegraph, Express and The Guardian all have reports.
This from the Telegraph:
The Marquess of Salisbury, Chancellor of Liverpool University, called off a visit to a students’ dinner and ball last night after a threat that the function would be ruined if he attended.
Plain-clothes police were on duty outside his hotel in Liverpool, where he was entertained instead at a private dinner party by officials of the University.
As Chancellor, Lord Salisbury would have been principal guest at the Guild of Undergraduates’ dinner, but a group of about 200 of the 6,000 or so students staged a seven-hour ‘sit~in’ in a hall at the Students’ Union. Half a dozen students went to see Lord Salisbury at his hotel a few hours before he was due at the dinner and told him they were opposed to his ” racialist opinions.”
A spokesman for the group said: ” We told him that because of statements he had made and his support for white racialist regimes in Southern Africa that he ought not to come to the Guild dinner and ball or continue as Chancellor of the university. We feel that Lord Salisbury’s opinions are an affront to the multiracial nature of our university.”
Lord Salisbury said the students were protesting about some views which he did not hold. “I have always been a multiracialist”. The deputation’s allegation that he had given financial and political support to white rule was not true.
He asked the students if they represented the majority view, but he understood that the protest was confined to a couple of hundred. His impression was that Guild officials knew nothing about the protest until yesterday. “I have always wanted people to have the right to express their views, but I think this is discourteous and I do not believe it represents the views of the majority.”
Lord Salisbury dined “with some old friends of mine from the university” Among these were the new Vice-Chancellor, Mr Trevor Thomas and the pro-Chancellor, Mr Bertram Nelson.