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CALL OF EMPIRE

CITY DEMONSTRATION

MORE RECRUITS NEEDED

MR. MASSEY'S MESSAGE

A great demonstration was held in Wellington last night, when the strength of the National Reserve movement was shown in the 1000 members of the Reserve who marched through the City. Tho movement was inaugurated by that body, and was an expression of recognition of, the entry of the New Zealand fighting forces into the battle line in the Dardanelles. Early in the evening a procession was formed at the Defence offices, and with three brass bunds, and the drum and fife bands of the Cadets, who also took part, a march was made through the principal streets and along Lambton Quay to the Government Buildings. The Quay was lined by a cheering throng, and at the Buildings a crowd of some 7000 or 8000 had gathered to hear patriotic addresses. The ground in front of the Departmental Building was_ reserved for the members of the National Reserve, and when they had marched in four abreast they filled all the available space. The speakers of the evening were stationed on the balcony overlooking the Quay, and as the Prime Minister (the Right Hon. W. P. Massey) and others stepped out into view the loud cheers that rose drowned the strains of "It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary," which was being given by t'he sth Regiment Band, and sung by almost all the Reservists. The Mayor of Wellington (Mr. J. P. Luke) presidedj and there were also present the Minister of Defence (the Hon. Jas. Allen), the Leader of tho Opposition (Sir J. G. Ward), the Hon. H. D.Bell, aiid_ Colonel Porter, president of the National Reserve.

It was nearly 9 o'clock when Mr. Massey, the first speaker, stepped forward. He was loudly applauded, and his opening remarks, in which ho thanked tho members of the National Reserve for volunteering for service, were almost inaudible in the din. When the cheering had died somewhat Mr. Massey continued.

"We cannot all go to the front, ladies and gentlemen," said tlie Prime Minister, "but each, can do his duty in his own way, and I have the best of reasons for knowing that there are numbers of the National Reserve whose dearest wish to-night, if they had the opportunity, would be to join their friends and comrades in the fighting line—(loud applause)—using the rifle, and making good for the country and Empire. I say we cannot all go to the front, but we can all do our little bit; we can all keep the industries of the country going,_ keep the business of the country going, and provide the sinews of war. We can also make provision for the dependents of those who have gone—(applause)—and 'make provision for those who are disabled.

A Test of Nationhood. - "The experience through which we are passing, fellow citizens, is the best test that can possibly be applied, not oiuy to nationhood, but also to citizenF' j. <• ls a character, it is a test of courage, and it is a test of determination, and I am quite certain that the British Empire and British citizens will stand aud come through successfully any test —any test whatever, that may be applied to them. (Loud applause.) The events of the last few days, ladies and gentlemen, must -have brought home to every one of us that this is l v life and death struggle, and all local questions, all local grievances, are insignificant compared with this, the great question which to-day is being asked and answered on the battlefields of Europe. (Loud applause.) Ladies and gentlemen, the events of the last few days have brought sorrow into many homes, not only in this country, but in every other country in. the Empire, and I regret exceedingly that I am not able to give you any more details to-night than those supplied by the Press this afternoon, but I would just like to say to the thousands of relatives of the men at the front that my sympathy goes out to them in their anxiety. (Applause.) I would like to say as regards the wounded that all possible care will be taken of them, and I sincerely hope the next news that comes with regard to them will bo better than wo have had today. (Applause.) So far as the men who have falleu are concerned, tlieir relatives have this consolation, that tlie.v died in a good cause, they have died for tlie greatest cause possible— for their country, and as a great British poet has said:

How can men die better than facing fearful odds, For the ashes of their fathers, and the altars of the gods.

On the Roll of Fame. "Whether their bones lie in the green graveyard, or whether they lie by the blue waters of the Dardanelles, they have dona their duty up to the highest traditions of the race" to which they belong. Their names are engraved on the toll of fame, and so far as the British people are concerned, their memories will never be forgotten. (Loud applause.)

"There is one fact that the events of the last few days, or few weeks have had: It has had the effect of stimulating and encouraging recruiting.. I know tins, and I know it perfectly well, thai every young fellow who is able to get nwa.v,_ or thinks he can get away, is bi caking bis heart to get the opportunity. Wo know perfectly well that there are thousands of men in this country who' want to do their duty on the other side, of the world, hut cannot get away from home ties. They are not shirkers, for tbey will_ do their duty here if they cannot do it on the other side of the world. I would like to say this to the manhood of the country who are not; held here by home times and duties:—

Your country calls, your King needs your services; enrol, register right away, so that you may be ready when wanted. (Loud applause.) Men, you feel like the man of Kitchener's army -who said: 'I wasn't amongst the first to go, but I went, thank God I went.' May that experience be youvs.

All for Empire. "Tliis, fellow-citizens, is not a question of class or creed. In the British trenches to-day there are noblemen fighting side by side with miners, there are University men fighting shoulder to shoulder with" navvies, and professional men sharing their breakfasts and blankets with men from the plough. I have said it is not a question of class or creed, it is the Empire for all, and all for the Empire." (Loud applause.) Proceeding. .Mr. Massey said that we had all road with horror of the methods adopted by the Germans, but their time would ,'ome. He hoped things that had happened would induce the British people and their allies to still push on this war with determination; go into it with all thciv hearts and souls and strength. There, must be no looking back until <'»!' forces roll over the boundaries of Germany, and until Britain ;>ml her allies arc able to arrange a peace which "ill be honourable and lasting, and which would do credit, to Britain and Jier. alliej. Thai 1 had been compelled to

draw, the sword in. defence of their national honour. (Loud applause.)

The cranfl old Flag, Sir Joseph. Ward was loudly cheered oil rising to speak. He said that he wanted to add a few words to those of the Prime Minister, and particularly in reference to what tho National Beserve were doing. They were giving tangible evidence of their desire to cooperate in helping to prserve the prestige of the grand old iiag we all live T (•W ause -) Everyone throughout- New Zealand who had a heart -was thinking of the fathers and mothers who were in distress over the loss of their sons in tho Dardanelles. The sympathy of everyone went to them, but after all we must remember many of the sons of the Empire were bound to fall in the fight for the Empire that they were taking part in. While we sympathised with the relatives wo recognised that men who went on the battlefield took their lives in their hands in going out to light for that Empire. (Applause.) ihero was no worse fight that men were engaged in than that of the landing party, as in this case against the Turks, ofheered by the Germans, who had prepared in every way for such a landing. feo we had to remember when tho New Zealanders took part in their first great venture that they were engaged in one of the most difficult confliefs yet; taken place 011 the Continent. Ws were all the prouder of the encomiums which had been given for those difficult operations. This was a country where every right-thinking man and woman was opposed to conscription, and wo had to remember that up to now we had had men coming along to volunteer their services, and he was one of those who believed that the martial spirit permeated everywhere in the Dominion. And whatever was necessary in the future he believed would be done voluntarily. Men from every part of the Empire should go forth willingly to support_ the flag of Empire. (Applause.) He joined with the Prime Minister in a recognition of what the duty of the country was to those wounded, and to those bereft of their fathers and soiis. It was the duty of the country, through the Government, to soften the blow and make for the reasonable independence of all those who were unable to follow their occupations after the war, and for those dependents left without their support. The nation was up against a country that for over twenty years had been preparing for the over-running of the Continent, and to spread over the seas and capture a portion of the colonies which had been British, and would be British for all time. (Applause.) He concluded by extending hia sympathy to all those waiting'in anxiety for news of those who had gone with a determination of winning for England and the overseas Dominions freedom, and to prevent the domination of an. autocracy that was going to rule the world if they could. (Applause.)

Appeal for Recruits. The Minister of Defence (the Hon.James Allen) was given three cheers aa he rose. These were called for by the Mayor, who said that Mr. Allen had been at his desk through all the months of trial and hard work. (Applause.) Mr. Allen said that we New Zealanders had been waiting for tfliis day, and we were proud of the deeds of our sons. We mourned the loss and sympathised with the bereaved. To the National Reserve he said there were those in New Zealand who had their duties. He asked the National Reserve and the citizens to show their sympathy practically to those who were bereaved. He wanted to say a few words to the National Reserve, f'and he pointed to the safety felt by theso in tba Dominion when everyone wanted to do their share. The women of New Zealand had been doing their part, and those who went from theso shores would know that the shores of the country were safe in the hands of the National Reserve. The Reserve made everyone realise that, they should do something, and he asked the citizens did their consciences say. that they (vere doing what they should? Wo. would want reinforcements in the future. More men were needed than was thought at first, and he asked the National Reserve and the citizens to find those men. If there were any who should go, let them come forward and let lis have 15,000 names enrolled in the next few months. He thanked the National Reserve for what they had done, aud lie looked forward to the' work they would do in the future. He thanked them for the feeling of safety engendered in the Defence Department by having such a body of men to fall back on. They had never asked the Defence Department for what they, knew it was impossible to give. (Applause.) He concluded by again expressing his sympathy to the relatives of those wounded and killed. _ The proceedings concluded with cheers for the boys at the front, and those in training. Parade State.

The parade state showed that there were 1006 National Reserve present, under Colonel Porter, C.8., .and Major, Davis, V.D., and 705 of tho sth Regi. ment and Senior Cadets, under Major Simm. Colonel Campbell, Coast Do. fence Commander,' was ill supreme com. mand. The bands wore the Silver Mis. sion, Jupp's, and Kilbirnie .. Senior Cadets, and the oth Regiment:

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/DOM19150505.2.28

Bibliographic details

Dominion, Dominion, Volume 8, Issue 2453, 5 May 1915

Word Count
2,129

CALL OF EMPIRE Dominion, Volume 8, Issue 2453, 5 May 1915

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