Why picket Council: SocSoc leaflet

A Socialist Society leaflet circulated in advance of the meeting of the University Council on Thursday 19 February 1970.  Following a mass meeting on Friday 6 February, students had demanded that the issue of Salisbury and University investments be raised at forthcoming meetings of Senate and Council.

WHY PICKET THURSDAY AFTERNOON’S UNIVERSITY COUNCIL MEETING ?

Because we are concerned with the involvement of this University in racialism. The nature of the involvement is not necessarily personal: it is institutionalised racialism which can manifest itself in many forms.

At the London School of Economics, the governors are men who invest in apartheid regimes. At University College London, educational connections with University College Salisbury help legitimise and perpetuate minority rule.

AT LIVERPOOL THE FIGUREHEAD OF THE ‘ACADEMIC COMMUNITY’ IS AN INFAMOUS RACIALIST.

What is being demanded?

  1. that the University Council should demand an immediate assembly of the University Court, the only body which can consider demands for the resignation of Lord Salisbury as Chancellor.
  2. that the University Council, the body responsible for University investments, should open its books and reveal where these investments lie.

If the Students Union invests heavily in South Africa, is it not possible that the University may be doing apartheid a similar service ? If the University has nothing to hide, there should be little cause for trouble.

Notes on Lord Salisbury as Chancellor

As founder of the right-wing, Rhodesia-supporting Monday Club he is noted for his campaigning in support of white minority regimes.

He has been involved in companies which bolster up the Rhodesian and South African economies. Until 1961, director of British South Africa Company (extensively involved in South African Mines and Rhodesian economy; 40% investments in South Africa; owner of huge estates and property rights in Rhodesia).  Now director of Westminster Bank, a major financier of capital developement in South Africa.

Has several racialist statements on record:

“The Rhodesians are ordinary decent people . . . . . trying to lead the Africans forward and train them in the ways of civilisation” (Tory Conference 1965)

“Is it not a fact that one of the reasons for the present blood bath in Nigeria is that the white government ceased to obtain and was succeeded entirely by a black government?” (House of Lords June 1968)

To students:

Let us impress upon the University Council the gravity of the issue of racialism today. Let us make it quite clear to University Councillors entering their meeting that the student body does not wish to see the University identified with a leading racialist, and that action must be taken now.

To University Council members:

We ask that you bring forward and discuss these demands in your meeting.

That if you consider the University to be an academic community, you should take action to rid it of the attitudes and influences most divisive to community.

PICKET UNIVERSITY COUNCIL –  SENATE HOUSE –  THURSDAY – ASSEMBLE UNION FOYER 1.30 PM.

Published by the Socialist Society of the Guild of Undergraduates

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