John Baker was president, Tony Lambert secretary and Dick Eiser treasurer. Speakers included Hyman Levy, J Z Young, Lord Listowel, Peggy Jay, Herman Bondi, Margaret Knight and (in a late addition) Francis Huxley. The OUHG gave evidence to the Franks Commission on the governance of the University, protesting at interference in the private lives of students. The OUHG also elicited abuse from the apartheid South African government – see below.
The OUHG also carried out a survey of its ‘image’.
OUHG wrote to the apartheid South African government seeking mercy for John Harris, who had been sentenced to death as a terrorist. (He had left a bomb in the railway station at Johannesburg and telephoned a warning, but the bomb exploded and killed a woman; some suggested the police had delayed their reaction).
The reply from the Ministry of Justice was scarcely in diplomatic language:
It was reported in the Daily Telegraph (25 February 1965):
Similarly the Guardian (25 February 1965):
and the Times (25 February 1965):
The episode produced a number of letters, deploring the OUHG protest in language that ranged from the pained to the abusive, from (among others) a retired Black Watch colonel in Switzerland and a housewife in South Africa.