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Armageddon or Calvary: The Conscientious Objectors of New Zealand and "The Process of Their Conversion"

Appendix IV

Appendix IV.

"Hansard" of September 5 contains a report of my speech on the Address-in-Reply, in the course of which I made reference to the Crampton case in the following terms:—

"Honourable members will remember the efforts I made last session to have Lieut. Crampton's case dealt with. When Mr. Hewitt, S.M., was appointed to inquire into the Crampton case, I asked that the men who had been assaulted should have the right of representation by counsel at that inquiry; Mr. McCombs made a similar request, but it was refused. The Magistrate went into the matter very fully. The men concerned had been scattered from prison to prison, and the guards had also been scattered. The Magistrate visited prison after prison. He acted as fairly as a man could act under the circumstances. He brought in a report which substantiated the charges of cruelty, and which vindicated my action and the action of the men who made the charges in the first case. Mr. Hewitt found that the charges against Crampton were proved; but it took a long time to get the report laid on the table of the House. After it was placed before the House we endeavoured to get the Government to take action on it, but no action was taken; and then, instead of the page 177Government giving effect to the recommendations of Mr. Hewitt, instead of doing what they ought to have done—the only thing they could have done in decency at that stage, namely, get rid of Lieut. Crampton as military officer—they set up a courtmartial to try Crampton, a courtmartial that was nothing more or less than a piece of whitewashing machinery to save Lieut. Crampton's position. No member of that Court betrayed any knowledge of the military law. The Judge-Advocate was better counsel for Crampton than the lawyer who was employed to defend him. The men who were the victims of the atrocities were not allowed representation by counsel, and at least one important witness was not presented. …; The prosecutor was the one man who seemed to me to come out of the business with credit to himself. After the courtmartial, and without any explanation either in this House or to the people of this country as to why they did it, the Government, altogether ignoring the scathing report of the Magistrate, Mr. Hewitt, proceeded to appoint Lieut. Crampton Area Officer at Wanganui, where, notwithstanding that unsavoury record of his which comes from Samoa, he will have charge of very many boys in the period of adolescence. Previously I made demands in this House for the production of the papers in connection with Lieut. Crampton's trial at Samoa. The Minister replied to me that he would place on the table of the House such of those papers as were not confidential. The papers have not yet been laid on the table, and I want to know what portion of the papers will be regarded as confidential. Will that portion be so regarded which had to do with Lieut. Crampton's own admissions at his trial by courtmartial at Samoa? This matter of the Defence Department's action in connection with Lieut. Crampton is something which the House cannot afford to pass over very lightly; sooner or later explanations will have to be made, and sooner or later something will have to be done to determine Lieut. Crampton's connection with the Defence Forces."