NZ Truth , Issue 504, 13 February 1915, Page 5
Several Officers Charged with Serious Offences "Truth's" Exposure Causes Popart-1 ment to Act. Press Association's Belated News Pars On Thursday, February 4, the Press Association gravely, informed tho daylies it profesises,to serve so faithfully: It is rumored that certain military officers holding! important ■commissions, -both m the Territorial force prior to the mobilisation and m the main body of the Expeditonary Force, were concerned m an unsatisfactory administration of the regimental funds. The rumor appears to have been well-founded. The matter has been investigated officially upon the authority of the Minister In Charge of the Audit Department, and steps have been taken to secure the personal attendance m New Zealand of the officers concerned. . They are well-known Infantry officers m Otagb, one being a lleutenat-colohel of a certain regiment and the other an adjutant of the same regiment. One of the officers is now on his way from Egypt and the other is understood to havo been given orders to return from England, where he had been dispatched by order of a superior officer. What a nose for news the New Zealand Press Association must havo to be sure! It is only eight weeks since "Truth" fully exposed the above scandal, and, incidentally, shed ■ about ten times the light on to the affair*. This paper m its issue of December stated that- during the pre-election agitation various scandals were draggqp into tho light of day with a view to influencing unfavorably the verdict of the polls on the Administration. There were rumors, however, that all had not been told that might have been and that things were not , altogether aa t hey ought to be m the administration of the Defence Department. At beat tho Defence Department is a curious concern, and though many devious doings are hinted at, one does not expect that under the aegis of Colonel Jamea Allen any definite dishonest act would go unpunished. Aa Byron says, however, it Is the unexpected that sometimes happons. For some tlmo rumors of SERIOUS DEFALCATIONS BY DEPARTMENTAL OFFICERS have been current m WeJHngton, and further afield, and after much careful Inquiry "Truth" is able to give Its readers an outline, at least, of the shady story, which, if truo, wo think should not be hushed up. About a couple of years ago, a certain imported sergeant-major, aa straight a soger as ever was, acoused und actually roported a certain clever captain to headquarters. It Is alleged that the complaint was one of falsifying certain documents. Now, when a non -com. makes a deliberate charge against an officer he Is arrested Immediately — this all In the interest of discipline, and no doubt very necessary. If the charge is found to be correct, the olllcer Is arrested and discharged from tho army. If tho non-com, fails to "make good" his assertions he is sentenced to a torni of Imprisonment for making false accusations against a superior officer and reduced to the ranks. In the case under review tho non-com, was placed under arrvet, as per regulations and after fly« minutes released. Nothing happened to him despite the SERIOUS NATURK OF THE CHARGE MADE. It Ih said that the accuser held the evidence laying bare the whole falsification. Th« whole district for mllos around know that the non-com, had bocn am>sted and why. and th.il he was Immediately released. Strange; us H Ih, the oillcer charged, although declared to b«- "up to th«" iR-ok m It," wiih not brought to book. Did sonic bIK fum shield him? It would appear from subsequent allegations that they hud preserved from for a more scriouK and certain reckoning. aH It Is* stated that he failed to profit by i he- b-.sson, und Inter on took down the dcmnltlon Department more tH'tiouwly. "Truth" would like to know If all
| this reached the Minister, and, If not, who was responsible for its failure to do so? It is said the Department embraced the accused officer more tightly -than ever and thus became the indirect abettor of the larger scandal that followed. When the second and much j more serious scandal reached their ears the accused captain's superiors bej lieved he might cover himself wlthhonors at the front, Consequently, the latest report was cloaked also, and la connagracion Europea looming above the horizon, the "capting" was sent to settle accounts with Kaiser Bill . The Government auditor, "Truth" understands, has been to the Defence Office, and A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION of the regimental accounts has brought to light misappropriations running into several figures^-and there may be more! These defalcations are said to interest several military men, all of whom, it la expected, will be brought back. It is hinted very broadly m military circles that the dftfalcations m question were discovered before one of the officers volunteered for the front, and that he was urgently "Invited to volunteer." It is expected that the wh m. scandal, if there is any truth m it ...l be dragged into the light of day as soon as Parliament re-assembles. After such an exhibition of blithering, BEHIND-THE-TIM ES INCOMPETKNCY, this paper avers, that instead of possessing the marvellous nose for nooa ascribed to it, the Press Association of New Zealand could not smell a chunk of dried shark on a hot day if It was dangled two inches away from its superannuated olfactory organ, which Is misnamed its "smeller," by the uninitiated and vulgar.