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REGISTRATION

OBJECTORS TO WAR SUGGESTION BY APPELLANT A statement that all men in defaulters' camps and those transferred to prison were willing to assist in wartime, despite--public statements to the contrary, 'was made by Raj'mond Firmstoh, formerly of New Plymouth, in appeal* ing for hife release from detention camp before the No. 1 Revision Authority, Mr. A. H. Johnstone. K.C., this morning. He suggested that conscientious objectors should be registered. If this were done, he said, objectors would be able to show their integrity, instead of being segregated from society.

The applicant said that many years before the present war he had reached the point of view that wars were wrong, futile and destructive alike" of the victor and vanquished. He belonged to no religious body. He was a humanitarian and' to do good was his religion. He was prepared to assist in distressed areas in times of floods and earthquakes.

In reply to Mr. Greenberg, Crown representative, the appellant said that he did not appear before an Appeal Board when called up in 1940, as he considered that no board had a right to judge~a man's conscience. He now" realised that he should have sent in a statement that he would not appear, but was willing to assist in a civilian capacity.'; His thoughts on war were aroused in 1928 when he saw "horror-films" at meetings, convened by Mr.. Semple., He denied that. he suffered' from |a r fear complex, and said that, if he believed it right to take up arms he would be at the front to-morrow. Decision was reserved. "Gave Up Pleasures" "I decided to give up the pleasures of the world and follow in the footsteps of the Master," said Colin Kelso Osbaldiston,, sharemilker, formerly of Riverhead, in describing his religious experiences in support of his application for release from, detention camp. On behalf of appellant, Mr. Wallace said that in 1939, when 25 years I of age, Osbaldiston, a motor truck driver in the Riverhead district, met his wife and through her became interested in the Christian Assembly. As a result of his membership of the assembly and his objection to war, he lost his employment as a truck driver and later became a sharemilker. When war broke out he felt that he could not bring himself to undergo military service. He was sent to a. detention camp and on one occasion he walked out of it in order to see his wife and was absent for four hours. In a statement of his beliefs, Osbaldiston said that he was prepared to continue in the stand he had taken. He regretted very nruch his action in breaking out of camp. Cross-examined by Mr. Greenberg. Crown representative, as to why he had taken the stand he did, appellant said that if he had not he would not be able to inherit the Eternal Kingdom which he was seeking. Mr. Greenberg: What' do you mean by Eternal Kingdom? Applicant: By our life here we get info the Kingdom. That's what I am trying to do. Mr. Greenberg: Having made up your mind you mean to continue adamant?— The natural inclination would be to go to war. Don't you follow your natural inclinations?— They do get the better of me sometimes. With others you broke out of camp. Would I be strictly correct in saying that you would be following human instricts?—That is so. You broke through barbed wire, got past the guard and walked through fog. You must have had a pretty strong urge of human instinct on that occasion. Did it ever occur to you that in going to war you were responding to human instinct?— No. "Human instinct in you doesn't work in that direction," commented Mr. Greenberg. Further questioned. appellant denied that he had endeavoured to build a strong fortress around himself in order to escape the war. In reply to the Authority he said that he based his opinions upon the injunctions of the Bible, not to kill and to love one's enemies. The Authority: bo you love your enemies?—l certainly don't hate them. That is not what I asked you.—l love everybody I can. I don't wish them any harm. Can you say honestly that you have any real love for the Japanese at the present time? —1 can't answer that in the abstract without seeing the people. After hearing corroborativte evidence regarding the sincerity of applicant's religious beliefs, the Authority reserved his decision. "No Selfish Motive." "W T hy do members of the Christian Assembly all/want to get baqk to their own farms? Is there no call of the Cross challenging them in this crisis?" asked Mr. Greenberg when William John Finnemore, a farmer, formerly of Napier, and 'a member 'of the assembly, applied- for his release. Appellant said that he was not desirous of returning to his farm from anv selfish motive. Ht was willing to'do anything for the community in a civilian capacity and he thought that he could best serve it by resuming his occupation as a farmer. "You believe in the New Testament," said Mr. Greenberg, "have you sold everything you have and given the money to the poor? "I have not much to give," replied appellant. He denied that his philosophy was one of saving his own skin.

A brother of the appellant said that he and two other brothers had served with the Forces. They were not of the appellant's faith out they respected, the stand lie had taken. Decision was reserved.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS19450717.2.30

Bibliographic details

REGISTRATION, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 167, 17 July 1945

Word Count
918

REGISTRATION Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 167, 17 July 1945

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