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OBJECTORS ON TRIAL

COMPULSORY RECRUITS .REFUSE ORDERS

COURT MARTIAL PRO- \ CEEDINGS »

lour compulsorily enlisted men who had refused to obey lawful orders m tho military camps were brought before ,f court-martial, at the Buckle Street .-■■■! -~ >ibarracks yesterday morning on oharges ? ; l - r , ✓ The Court consist«d of Colonel.C. 11. Macdonald, LG.S., ; : Uuef Infantry Instructor; Major D R .Menaies and Major W. Sim; Lieut. ■P. C. Todd was present as officer under r .instruction; and Captain, W. P. B. -.-.■■■■ Tilling was tie military prosecutor. '' -c men charged were: Privates ...Alexander Baxter, Archibald M'Coll, Learmont Baxter, John Baxter, and (W. Little. Alexander Baxter, was i , ' .charged with having refused to work when ordered to do so while under, deJ rtention in Trentham Camp. The other three men were . charged with having : refused to „ put on detention clothing when ordered to do so. The men had . . .. ~iiot : availed; themselves of their right - to be represented by counsel, v.The cases of-the men who had refused to wear detention clothing were taken first. Forma!evidence wasgiven ;by non-commissioned 1 officers, to the effectithat the men had been ordered ' to put on the clothing, and had refused to do so. The prisoners stated t;., .that they had no questions to put to 'the witnesses. They did not wish ,to : give evidence on their own behalf on oath. ' Private. Archibald Baxter , made a , statement regarding his position. He ■ said that .he .'did not consider himself : to be a soldier. He had not enlisted. He had been . arrested and taken to .. . the camp, without .notice, and he did ■ not.feel called upon to .obey military orders. ' ■ ,- Colonel Macdonald:. What do you mean when you say that you are not a soldier? Accused: "Well,. I never Joined. I v was. arrested, under .Section-, 35 of-the Military Service-Act." Baxter added that'he was a'.shearer by trade. He liad objections to military service. It was against his beliefs to <lo so. "I deny that,l am.a soldier,"! .ha added. • -.Colonel Macdonald: On the, charge sheet you are referred.to as a soldier undergoing detention. Can you provs that that- is wrong ? /..... Accused: When I was arrested and t&ken to camp I never took the oath : . or anything like that« , !

Colonel Macdonald: Do you contend " 'that the Parliament of this country has ~ no right to pass a law like. Section 35 . of the Military Service Act to call you up?

Accused: I do not dispute the law, ' .-but. I refuse to do what: I believe 'to bo-wrong ' . ' i . ■' Colonel Macdonald: Is that all you} ' wish to say? ■ ■•iL ■ Accused: Yes. ■ Colonel Macdonald: Do you wish to say anything regarding the punishment • that this Court may)feel it. necessary' to inflict? .■■■■,.. . i ' Accused: If I was a soldier;and had • . i taken, the oath I would do as I was commanded. As I do not consider myto be a soldier-1 do what I think ■ to. be right. .■■■.■ :-. Colonel Macdonald: Well, we will leave it at that.. r ..■• John Baxter and William Little said -j . .their attitude was the same as that of Archibald Baxter. They did not wish • ; "to add anything to what he had said. ■ ,": Private Alexander Baxter pleaded not 5 'guilty to the charge or having refused 1 -lo work After evidence had been 'taken.on the point,' he said he claimed /noli to. be since he had never I been sworn in. He/had been called up under Section 35 \and taken to camp - . compulsorily. Ho denied that he was ' subject to military orders.

■ lie accused had 110 questions to ask the witnesses, and .did not wish to call anv evidence/ . '. ; • The court was closed for the con-' sideration of the verdicts, : which will b« announced later.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/DOM19170403.2.46

Bibliographic details

OBJECTORS ON TRIAL, Dominion, Volume 10, Issue 3044, 3 April 1917

Word Count
607

OBJECTORS ON TRIAL Dominion, Volume 10, Issue 3044, 3 April 1917

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