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Two ex-servicemen gave evidence as to the • sincerity of Drexford Fleming Hillary's conscientious objection to war before the No. 1 Revision Authority, Mr. A. H. Johnstone, K.C., this morning, when Hillary's application for release from detention was heard. Applicant was represented by Mr. McKay. Counsel stated that applicant's father had served at Gallipoli in the last war and had been wounded during that campaign. He had had recurrent illness as a result. Also the last war had caused Mr. Hillary heavy financial loss. Applicant and his family belonged to the Church of England, counsel stated. They had also taken an interest in various schools of philosophical thought and had joined the "Radiant Living" movement.

Evidence along these lines was given by Percival Augustus Hillary, who stated that his son, "has always had a humanitarian desire in his heart although he could not express it in words. That was why a career of medicine appealed to him." Witness explained that his son had given up his medical career to help witness with his beekeeping when he was ill in 1938 from recurrence of his war injuries. His elder son was navigator in a flying-bo? t in a forward Pacific area.

Applicant himself m answer to the Crown representative, Mr. Christiansen, said his brother had first appealed on • the grounds of conscientious objection, but later had volunteered and joined the Air Force.

A returned serviceman, W. W. I Hyatt, gave evidence that he knew applicant through being associated with him in the "Radiant Living" movement. He knew of applicant's attitude to war. "Interesting Discussion" "These discussions are very interesting but we must get on," said Mr. Johnstone, when what threatened to become a full-scale debate developed between counsel, Mr l . Hall Skelton, and the Crown representative, Mr. Christiansen, during the hearing of the application of Eric Clifford Prouse. The discussion which rose out of Mr. Skelton questioning the nature of Mr. Christiansen's examination of witness, had reached the stage where counsel had volunteered the information that General Eisenhower's mother was a leading Jehovah's Witness. Prouse's case was based on his being a member of the Jehovah's Witness movement before the war and still being an active adherent. A number of declarations were put in by counsel in support of the application. "Cannot be Replaced" "Human life is something which cannot be replaced and therefore should be preserved as much as possible," said Arthur Colin Rau, formerly a factory-worker, of Manurewa. when speaking in support of his application for release on parole. Applicant said his application was not based on religious teaching. "I believe we have only one life," applicant said. He considered all wars were unjust. Witnesses giving evidence in support included applicant's brother, who was a returned serviceman, and his father. It was stated that another brother was killed in the Middle East. Gordon Leslie Eric a carpenter, 27 years of age, based his application'- on religious grounds. Applicant said he had been a member of the Christian Assembly for nine years. Decision was reserved in each case.

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Bibliographic details

OPPOSED TO WAR, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 178, 30 July 1945

Word Count

OPPOSED TO WAR Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 178, 30 July 1945

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