FOR THE BELGIANS
OTAGO FUND REACHES £IO,OOO. £1.4C0 PROMISED LAST NIGHT. REVIEW BY HON. MR ALLEN. The Garrison Hall could have accommodated many hundreds more last night on the occasion of the great patriotic meeting for the Belgian fund, and yet tho Bey. R. S. Gray's " live-wire ’’ chaffering obtained promises from the audience of the splendid sum of over £1,400. The hall was bright with the colors of our allies, the patriotic programme, both from an oratorical and a musical point of view, kept the crowd keyed to tho high C ot enthusiasm, and in addition the Minister of Defence made an important review of what New-- Zealand had done and intended to do for* the Empire. Tho Hon. J. Allen presided, being supported bv the Hon. W. Fraser (Minister of Public Works), Messrs G. L Deuniston (Consul fur Belgium). P. C. Neill (Consul for France), J. Roberts, C.M.G. (Consul for Italy!, and the Rev. R. S. Gray. The Mayor (Mr J. E. Shacklock) Was unable to be present, having to attend a meeting ot tho City Council. Tho musical programme began with tho National Anthem, played by the Kaikorai Band, and concluded with tho same; on the last occasion tho Dunedin Orchestral Society (under the baton of Mr J. Coombs) leading the audience, so that tho air rang to the rafters. The society gave two other selections with impeccable taste. Air G. W. Johnstone sang ' Rule Britannia,’ ’ La Marseillaise,’ and ‘Song of the_ Bow,’ Alias Pacey recited ‘ Tho Ballad of Splendid Silence* and ‘Napoleon’s Tomb, Messrs J. M’Connoll and T. W. Double aroused the house to enthusiasm with the duet in character 'Tipperary,’ the effect of which was enhanced by the march past of a company of stalwart High £cnocil Cadets: and Miss Helen Gard’ner sang ‘There's a Land,’ introducing an extra verso, in which the Kaiser was forcibly if rudely called “ fiend-empowered Potsdam coward.” Air Gray was able to announce that the tour of tlic country districts ot Otago had resulted in an addition to the fund of £2.300. ami the chairman read a letter from the Otago Women’s Patriotic Association enclosing a cheque for £350 for the same object, this being in addition to the £SCO sent before. Later on Mr Gray stated that at the four meetings held on Trafalgar Day the sum realised was £3, SC O- £2,300 had been gathered at nmntrv meetings; the ‘Otago Daily Times' fund stood at about £2.300, anil '•hat night they had collected £9BO (promised), £SO :collection). £550 from the Women’s Association, and £2OO (other promises prior to the meeting). Besides, there were a few other sums to come, in. which made the total amount subscribed in Dunedin and country districts well over £IO,OOO. (Applause.* The Hon. Air Allen, who was warmly received, said that they had met to give visible expression to tlieir sympathy with the Mother Land, and of their sympathy with tho weak as against the strong, especially to express in deeds their'sympathy with that nation—little, but determined to defend itself against an aggressive foe—little, plucky,' riven Belgium. (Applause.) Nor was their sympathy confined to the men of the nation who hail stood so stoutly against aggression, hut it extended in oven 'greater' measure to the women ami children of the country who had-suffered in the cause of fiecdom. And if there was one thing that Britain might be proud of as a nation, it was that Vo had_ been the defenders of the weak as against the strong. The nation’s honor ■was now at stake, and to uphold that every Britisher would make the last sacrifice, now and here. (Applause.) Mr Alien proceeded to refer to the splendid, selfsacrificing work done by tho women of this country. “There is," ho continued, “another way—that particularly concerns me as Minister of Defence—in 'which you can help. I lie call has. come from tho .Mother Land to take up arms, and nnw that call has come to us we shall not be lacking in response to it. It has bean eald that th? response in Otago has not Keen ail that it ought to have been. I do Bet sav that. It is true that when the original allotment was made Otago was asked to contribute as many as some of the larger provinces. That was not quite fair, and" the Otago allotment will be altered in the future. But taking it altogether, tho response- has been admirable. I do not think that the people of New Zealand quite realise how much has been done. Eight thousand men were, arranged for, and in addition 10 per cent, to .allow for wastage were to be ready at short notice, ’then came another "call to do »n Imperial duty in tho Pacific, and iu a few days I,4oo'were ready to carry out that duty, and did carry it out, as yon know-. (Applause.) And afterwards, when we realised what this war meant, wo determined to do more. There was a lack of artillery, and wo have sent away more than wo were expected to. And the personnel of those batteries, I am assured by an officer, is as fine a personnel as lie ever saw in his life.” (Applause.) The Minister went on to say that later they had been called upon for n second lot of reinforcement, and 20 per cent, of the original 8.000 -were now in camp, and iron Id go in a few weeks. This reinforccaient was not going altogether, because New Zealand wanted to make np casualties. There wa .s another reason. The reinforcements were wanied to help place the Empire in the position of gradually increasing the strength that she put into Hie fighting line. New Zealand’s extra reinforcements would go to strengthen New Zealand’s own main body. And tbrr wanted to do even move than that. They wanted to be able to make it possible that the men who went to the front should not he called upon day by day and night by night to remain in the trenches, and endure, without relief and chance of recuperation. the fatigues and dangers of battle. These were the reasons for asking for reinforcements. They had agreed to (.■■ml 10 per oent. ns supports to the main body, 20 per cent, with the sscond, and 5 per cent, monthly afterwards. Now. he was going to ask them to cut out this 5 rer cent, and contribute even more. “It is possible,” went on the Minister, “ that we may have to provide 50 per cent, every two months.” (Applause.l When the men now in eamp went away, 5,000 more would he put into camp at once, to go awav two months later. Already they had a sufficient number of officers and noncommissioned officers for the third lot nf reinforcements. They did not intend to relax their efforts, and Britain would not slacken her efforts until tho Belgians were put back into tho country that was theirs. (Applause.) And all those who valued tho traditions of tho Empire would realise what it would mean when that duty had been performed. (Applause.) He had not tho least doubt that when tho appeal came for another 5,000 men the country would provide them. (Applause.) It was fine to think of what the native race had done. Five hundred were now in camp, and native chiefs had assured him that they could get 2.000 if necessary. (Applause.) “Now," pursued Mr Allen. “ those of our men who go from here will not bo neglected, either by tho people of New Zealand or by tho Government of the day. I am aware that there is a good deal of misunderstanding about the provision made for those wtn go away. I am not going to enter into the quest ion of their pay to-night—but our law provides that the men who go away, fh< old they he injured, receive a definite am >unt on account of the injuries tney re cive. It provides, too, for their widows I know that £36 a year is not a large amount for a private’s widow, but the law also provides for one year’s pay, a-ul i >-.- £6 to £lO a year for tho mldrtn in certain cases. And if this is not sufficient, tho ..Government and thu i'arliament will do thoir duty to those who are making this great sacrifice on our bcKV.t at this time.” (Applause.) Mr Alim rn.( on to state that already the people had j si b cribed £I4OXOO to the hmon-c In- ' Lance Fund, tho greater part of which had been left to the Government for allotment. Of this yum he had asked Parliament to set aside £20,000 for the relief cf the Belgians, and it might be his duty to set aside out of tho general fund a largo sum for the help of our own men who had gone away, and for their de- • pendents—for tho children whom thev 'might leqre behind. * i
TV Rev. R. S. Gray, in the course of tin eloquent appeal, said that -with the great German people we had no quarrel, nor they with us. Their aims and ideals were largely our own, and there could bo nothing more pathetic for the people bf Germany than to see their ideals vanishing. and their pride of birthright changed to ehamc cf the country of -which they were once so proud. ‘‘Let us pity the German people,” ho cried, “ winks with all our souls we hate the German military caste. This great nation will rebel against tho tyranny that is not only bathing other nations in blood, but is crushing out their national existence.” (Applause.) it was the doctrine of Nietzsche, the great materialist, upon which the policy ot the German military class rested. Nietzsche died insane, and his doctrine had reduced tho military class to a state of moral insanity. “ Only a scrap of paper,” they had called the Treaty that protected littic Belgium, but it wa for that scrap of paper that the British people were pouring out their blood. (Applause.) In conclusion, Mr G. L. Deuniston, in his capacity as Belgian Consul, thanked all who had assisted and given.
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FOR THE BELGIANS, Evening Star, Issue 15660, 26 November 1914