THE RECRUITING MOVEMENT
ENTHUSIASTIC MEETING AT SOUTH
A meeting organised by tho Patriotic and Recruiting Committee in furtherance of tho recruiting movement yvas held in tho .South Dunedin Town Hall last night. There yvas a large and enthusiastic audience, a great number of yvhom were unable to bo accommodated yvith scats, and were- compelled to stand at tho back. A big percentage of those in the body of the hall yvero ludies and men well over tho Tceruitijig iwje, but the young fellows formed a solid squad in the rear. Tho Citizens' Banc!, under Bandmaster Hofflarcd, played outside the building prior to tho meeting, subsequently contributing stirring patriotic music at intervals during the evening. His Worship tho Mayor of Dunedin (.Mr J. B. Shaddock) presided, and n number of ladies and gentlemen actively counected with the movement occupied seats on the platform. Tho Mayor said that they yvero assembled that night to help the .Empire and tho Defence- Department in the matter of recruiting. It had bmi said by Ihe newspajws that Otago had not dojio their .-hare in the matter of furnishing volunt?ert., but when this statement was examined it would he found that, on a population basis, this province had done quite as well ca any of the others. -(Applause.) Bi't more nun were required, as Lord Kitchener wja evidently aiming at placing in the iie'ld on the Continent an army big enough lu bring the war io u speedy conelusion. It was wonderful how the leading men thnuighcut tint r.nspire were united in proclaiming the lighte'ciui'ioss of Britain's cans' 1 . And wliyT Because Britain had entered upon tho war not for tho acquisition of territory; but in d*.-fence ut the weak. (Appiauw.) lie hud been reading a speech of lltidyard Kipling on the war, in wiiii.li the had stigmatised (!-. r-nip.'.-.y's action as mc-ndy "irganisvd bar- ! buiLmi," and in the interests of civilisa- [ tion this organised barbarism will have to j bo brought to a close. (Applauso.) The j only way to cud ii, caid His Wc;ship, yvas j to send more men, end that yvna the object j of their meeting. I!*> had jest bo-en told that the lat.ot war eabiV was to the effect that the rebel He \VV. had been captured. ! (Loud applause.) They would thus sco j that their brethren in Smith Africa wevo ! cluing their dirty. That night tho ycung I men iu the hall would be given tho opp-jr- ! tunily of coming I'onwud and giving in' their names, and of doing their duty. (Ap- . plause.) ! The* Rev. John Miller, in the course of ! a stirring address, said that it was no j doubt a terrible thing for a minister of the Gospel of peace to advocate war, and ! it must be r, frightful i.._ccssity to justify j his doing so. lie found hinn.vlf in tho j grip of (such a necessity, and was there | not as a padre of a pai diet tar camp, but! to join hands with the citizens of Dunedin j in their cft'o;t? to encourage the young men to come forward and join tho King's j forces. If thev could mi life wh-al fh-rs j British flag really meattt. if tlv.-v eot'ld realise yihat ihe Herman flag rwilymeant, there would not be a solitary young > man in the hall but who would com.. 1 for- i ward and say : " Write down my name." By and by the pious humbug who wears the Imperial crown of Germany would receive his first reward. (Applause.) He (the Kaiser) no doubt thought he was mighty, but he was not yet almighty, and the day would never i-vme whon he would be, an he had r'ondlv to be, " William tho Second, fcmperor of Europe." Germany's aim yvas for world conqvrst, and her plans had been laid aicordinidy, but they had forgotten, or did not understand, the character of the British nation as a whole. (Applause-.) Lord Roberts had knou n yvhat was going on : ho had been hooted because of his views on the armament question, but his words had been proved true ones, and had we listened to him instead of to tho anti-militant party wo yvould not havo been in the position we were to-day. But the time y\'ould corn-3 when wo would be able to dictate terms to those who now riding tlv high horse—but riding for a tremendous fall. The speaker paid a tribute to gallant little Belgium, and then went- on to appeal to the young n:en of Otago. The Empire yvas in danger, he said, not imaginary, but terribly ival c'.angrr, and-he asked* them yvhetlur thev vie picpated to exchange tho freedom they possessed for the slavery and attendant hardships of German rule: to stand by a:.d sco th:ir Hag hauled do\fri? '• I for one would not stand bv thus" snid Mr Miller. "Had the medical men passed ine I would have, boc-n at tho front now, not as e, ehaphin. but as a man in the lauks." (Applause.) If they did not value the laws and' unds'r which they lived sulHcicnily to help th* country "n her need they were, not worthy of tho name they bore." But he could not believe that Otago young men would hold back, but expected to tee loming forward .it the end of tho meeting to v-lunteer to go and nidil- for their King and their country. Mr .Miller dud at, an instance of the influence one man could wield the ease of tho Highland pipor at j the battle of Magersfonlein. and urtrd j thoeo present to be patriots and nso their influence- in th-:> campaign of enlistment. I "It is all veiy well" to" sing * JtuJ-e, Britannia,'"' ho said, "and to'jeiu in when tho band plays ' Tipperary.' but we want you to tianspofo your shouting and pinging into a':ts—wo want you to enlist to-niuht', ami to induce otlnun to volunteei also." Dr P. Marshall said the greatest crisis | that has ever occurred in its history was at this moment threatening the whole of tho British Empire. A new volume o} .the earth's history had been opened, and it was necessary to insist that the first chapter should record a tremendous vicnot only on behalf of the British Empire, but on behalf of her .Allies as well. It had been said that it was the assassination of the heir-apparent to tho Austrian throne and his wire which jd'ovuked the war. He questioned this very much. The origin of the war was. in his opinion, due- to the intense hst,:wl of Britain by tho Germans. That, said the speaker, may seem bv some to be an extreme statement to make, but anyone who has read the translation of jJeiihardi's book could not but be convinced ! that German's objective was Great Britain. If Germany wants the British colonies she will have to fight for them and win them, but ho ventured to say she would never get New Zealand. Certainly war did not first arise between Great Britain and Germany, but between Germany .-.ml "Russia* and Germany- and I France. Germany tried to get Britain I to remain neutral, whilst she (Germany) was infringing tho neutrality of Belgium. The German people were looked upon as a people of culture, but the fearful atrocities committed by the German soldiers on defenceless women and children in Belgium were horrible to contemplate. Murder, rapine, violation of yvomen, and everything that the imagination could conceive has been inflicted on the Belgians. Thero must be a reason for this. The reison was tint Germany yvanted to make Belgium a German province, to be peopled by Germans. They knew'that if thev left a Belgian alive the country could not be conquered. They know that although they crushed the.. Alsatians they did not conquer them. In tho yvhole of their colonisations the Germans had not succeeded in reconciling the conquered peoples. Even in Samoa, the easy-going, peace-loving Polynesians had not'become reconciled to German rule. What the Germans have attempted to do yvith Belgium she had also detenu toed to do yvith Britain. Their object is doubtless to commit the same atrocities in Great Britain as they have done in Belgium. But they yvill never subdue Britain. (Cheers.) There are people in this country yvho say it does not matter whether the Allied Powers or Germany wins in the present yvar. Those yvho hold these views would shortly alter their opinions in the event of the Germans getting a foothold. One thing we in New Zealand valued was our vote. Next week tho privileges of exercising tho vote would bo valued. Under German rule the value of a vote was only one-fourth of the value of the same privilege in the hands of the aristocrats in Germany. There tho Ministers are not selected as they are here. In Berlin the Kaiser selects his own Ministers. Britain is fighting for liberty and freedom. Germany is fighting retention of autocracy and tyranny-, Re
ferring to the 'treaty which had been violated, by' Germany, the. German Ch'an•cellor afiid it was only a scrap of paper. Britain, valued that scrap of paper because it contained hor signature and that of Germany. The. result of this war would be for the inhabitants of the different parts of the British Empire to have an undying hatred of the. Germans. The various parts of the vast British Empire were now fighting side by. sidet This is a war of defence as far as Britain is concerned, and we are fighting against the might of a great nation which has been steadily preparing for war for the past 40 years, and for war against the Britislf Empire " If," said Professor Marshall, " you realise what that means you must understand that it is necessary to put an immense force in the field, and that is why the cry is : ' Men, more men, and still more men are required.'" (Applause.) The more men wo can put into the field the shorter the war will be, tho less the bloodshed, and the less the expense. Those who are going from here to fight are going to fight on behalf of our land, our women, and our children. This was an occasion when Nelson's famous signal could be translated and applied to the present crisis : " England expects that every man will do his duty." (Loud applause.) Mr J. A. Park said the present circumstances were such that it was necessary to rouse the feelings of the people, and it was essential to rouse them to a. sense of tho magnitude of .the conflict in which we were how engaged. The danger in which our Empire stood w»3 not realised by the young people of this country. They have learned to indulge in luxuries and pleasures, from which it was difficult to break away. Tho present war was not one undertaken by Britain to acquire more. territory, but to support that grand Constitution which wo are all so proud of. (Applause.) Let us think of the assistance that was forthcoming and that was being offered the Mother Country in this war. Why, oven the Zulus were offering their services! They must not think thai the war was going to be of short duration. Lord Kitchener, had warned the British nation to prepare for a thro*! years' war. It had been said that Otago h;id not done her full share in. connection with sending men to the front, but he thought the .Minister of Oofence in the course of .some remarks 1 made on the subject had removed that j stigma attaching to this province. Otago j ha-, invariably done her duty well, and will continue to do so in the future. I
!'• iicar. hear," and applause.) He thought, however, that thero was a lack ■i: a "eiti-c-ment in this matter. Young men in the country willing to serve were ignorant of yvhere to go to enrol. The Ucniiting U.vmmiiKco. however, would remedy all this. We wanted it to be generally realised that we are all out to Support the Empire. We want every local body to he a recruiting committee. Why should a county council, lor 'instance, fiuht at the present-time over a culvert when the very existence of tho Empire was at stake. Each county council should form themselves into a recruiting committee. If this were done mo would get not hundreds, but thousands of young men to enrol. Wo have been told by Mr Massey that it would never do to deplete ouv Government services by encouraging our voting men to enrol for active service. That these young_ men were experts in their own particular line, and could not he replaced. Fancy young men of 25 years of age experts' fn " tho Government service! He ventured to say that there were p.'cntv nf young women available to iill many of the*-positions now held by young men in the Railway and Postal "Services. (Loud applause.) He thought nothing should be placed in the way ot a young man anxious to serve his King and country. (Renewed applause.) The restriction as to height and weight yvere matters, too, that misjht very well have been relaxed. Then, again, there was the uncertainty of tho departure of the men, and the delay in calling them together. These things "should be remedied, and every inducement offered to men to enrol.
At the invitation of Mr Park fome 20 or so young fellows who had either recently enrolled or were about to enrol came upon the platform, and yvero received with cheers, the band playing ' Soldiers of the King.' Mr Park said that the Recruiting Committee would do their best to smooth away difficulties with the employers _or parents of any young men eager to enlist, and also announced that medical examinations would be held at the Hospital on Tuesday and Friday evenings, at 8 o'clock. Intewperscd between the speeches yvere a number of musical and elocutionary items by well-known performers. These were all"of a patriotic character, and met with appreciative applause. Mr K. Drake sane ' T.ct Mo bike a Soldier Fall.' and, being recalled, gave 'The Death of Nelson/ both songs being finely sung. Mis.? halt Cran rrcited the inspiriting vcrrcH 'The Call' with good effect, and Miss Vida Waters sang very nicely 'The Union Jack of Old England," 1 , the yvorils being altered to suit present events. Mr J. M'Onith yvas twice recalled Lifter eingirvg ' Tho Courier of the King am 1." his encore numbers being also in a martial strain. A recitation bv Mr J. B. M'Connell entitled •Nail the Colors to the Mast' was well done, and Miris Helen Gardner's, topical song, written to the air of 'lt's a Long Way to Tipperary,' pleased the audience immensely. Miss Gladys Stoneham, A.T.C.L.", acted as accompanist. At the conclusion of tho meeting the Mayor thanked the speakers, the performers," and all those yriio had otherwise assisted.
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THE RECRUITING MOVEMENT, Evening Star, Issue 15667, 4 December 1914
THE RECRUITING MOVEMENT Evening Star, Issue 15667, 4 December 1914
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