Armageddon or Calvary: The Conscientious Objectors of New Zealand and "The Process of Their Conversion"
The "trial" of J. W. Crampton, lieutenant, on charges of having ill-treated prisoners at Wanganui Military Detention Barracks was commenced at the Drill Hall, Wanganui, on Wednesday, January 29.
The court consisted of Lieut.-Col. Colquhoun (president), Major Hume, Major Macksey, Major Henty, Major Asworth, Major Talbot and Captain Smith.page 146
Captain Hudson was prosecutor, and Captain Baldwin judge-advocate.
Prior to the date of the courtmartial I had communicated with the Minister of Defence urging that the men who had been subjected to the treatment complained of should be permitted to be represented by counsel—a request which the Minister refused.
The prisoner was represented by Mr. N. G. Armstrong, of Wanganui—who appeared as junior counsel to Mr. Loughnan (Palmerston North).
The drawing of the class line received some emphasis when Crampton, under guard, came into court, and immediately sat down without waiting for the court's permission, the Army Act provides that a common soldier must not sit unless the court allows him to do so, but an officer has the right to sit without the court's permission.
I made an application to be permitted to assist the prosecutor, quoting from the Manual of Military Law, section 42 footnote c, as follows:—"If the prosecution is instituted at the instance of a civilian, that civilian may be in court and assist the prosecutor, but he cannot speak or take part himself in the prosecution, except as a witness, as (subject as to the rule as to counsel) the prosecutor must under this rule be in every case subject to military law, though, of course, this requirement does not extend to counsel appearing for the prosecution." I pointed out that no one would seriously dispute that I was the instigator of the present proceedings. The first charge that men had been ill-treated at Wanganui Detention Barracks had been made by myself at Reefton on May of last year; and since that time, both in the press, on the public platform, and from the floor of the House, I had repeatedly demanded a trial. The present proceedings, I insisted, arose out of my demands, and were, therefore, instituted at my instance
Mr. Armstrong objected to the application being granted. He contended that the instigator should be something more than the writer of letters to the Minister and newspaper articles, or the making of speeches either on the platform or in Parliament. He should have special qualifications to assist the prosecutor, and he denied that Mr. Holland had those qualifications. The Judge-Advocate interjected that the word was not "instigated" but "instituted"—which was a different matter. Mr. Armstrong proceeded to say that the real institutor of the proceedings was Crampton himself.
Captain Hudson, prosecutor, pointed out that the question was rather one of "conferring" and not so much "assisting." He did not think that he could be assisted very much by Mr. Holland, but had no objection whatever to the application being granted. It was the prosecutor's duty to ascertain the truth, and he would welcome any assistance in that direction.
The Judge-Advocate strongly opposed the application. He argued page 147that it would have been necessary for Mr. Holland to have legally Instituted the proceedings to entitle him to the privilege conferred by the clause he had quoted. Mr. Holland did not come within the scope of the word "instituted." It applied only where a civilian could give material assistance to the prosecutor.
The president, after conferring with the other members, said that the court was compelled to take its law from the judge-advocate, and must, therefore, rule that Mr. Holland's application could not be granted.
An application by Mr. Armstrong for an adjournment of the proceedings was successful, the Court deciding to adjourn till February 12.
No Crown witnesses had been brought to Wanganui for the trial, which seemed to indicate that the adjournment had been arranged previously.
An incident in connection with Mr. Tom Moynihan reveals that the Defence Department is so utterly mismanaged that it cannot even locate the men in its employ. Mr. Moynihan was employed as a member of the Medical Corps at King George's Hospital, Rotorua. A day or two prior to the courtmartial the authorities were seeking his address in order to call him as a witness. The Wellington office apparently communicated with the Greymouth office, asking for the address, and the Greymouth office applied to Mr. Moynihan's father at Otira for the necessary information.
The second sitting of the Court took place on February 12. There were in all eleven charges against Crampton. The first was that he had ill-treated Harry Wilson (a Conscientious Objector) by grabbing him by the neck and allowing two non-commissioned officers to place a military pack on his shoulders.
Wilson described how Crampton became annoyed because he refused to "sir" him, and also because he told him (Crampton) that he was not "Private" Wilson, but Mr. Wilson. Crampton sentenced him to three days' bread and water; his own clothes were stripped from him and he was forcibly dressed in uniform. He then described his treatment by the guards, concluding with the statement that when he refused to obey Crampton's order to put on the pack, Crampton caught him by the hair with both hands and pulled his head almost to the ground.
While Mr. Wilson was in the box, he was asked by Mr. Loughnan (counsel for Crampton): "Did the letter sent to 'Truth' wind up with these words: "This is signed by eight Conscientious Objectors'?" The answer was "I don't think so," (A reference to Mr. Wilson's letter to Mr. Mark Fagan—of which the "Truth" letter was largely a copyshows that Mr. Wilson gave the names of the eight men by whom he had been authorised to sign.)
Captain Hudson sought to ask the witness if he had ever been induced by Crampton to attach his signature to any document; but page 148counsel for Crampton strongly objected, and the Court upheld the objection.
Quartermaster-Sergt. Porter said Smith brought Wilson into his office, where the pack was kept. Wilson was knocked about until he put it on. Crampton then caught Wilson by the hair and shook his head. He then ordered Wilson's hair to be cut off, and this was eventually done. Crampton caught Wilson by the neck and pushed his head down. Crampton and Sergt. Smith were yelling and bawling continuously at the man. It was mostly bad language they were using.
Cross-examined by Mr. Loughnan, witness said he was quite positive Crampton seized Wilson by the neck and pushed him to the ground. Great violence was used. He could see no reason for the violence. Wilson was shook as if he were a dog.
Crampton's evidence was to the effect that he was not handling Conscientious Objectors, but soldiers. "He received verbal instructions from headquarters that no Conscientious Objectors would be sent to Wanganui Barracks." He claimed he had the right to use what force was necessary when a soldier obstinately refused to do his duty. Wilson "showed dumb insolence." He admitted giving Wilson three days' solitary confinement on bread and water, and ordering him to be deprived of his mattress. He denied that he had seized Wilson by the hair, and also gave an absolute denial to Porter's evidence. When a communication came from headquarters giving the names of eight men whom it was alleged had signed the "Truth" letter, he "made" inquiries, and the men—"voluntarily signed a document denying cruelty or that they signed a letter to 'Truth.'" Two of them, he said, declared that all they did was to sign a blank paper.
On the third day of the Court's sitting, Crampton's counsel (Mr. Loughnan) made an astonishing revelation as to the purpose of the courtmartial. Crampton, he said, "Was Not Brought There To Answer Charges Levelled Against Him, But In Order To Clear His Character Of Charges Made Throughout The Country By A Totally Irresponsible Tribunal, Appointed Under Goodness Knows What Authority."
The Court's decision was reserved.
The second charge against Crampton was that he allowed unnecessary force to be used to compel Harry Wilson to do pack drill.
During Wilson's evidence, objection was raised to the term "slaughter yard." applied by Lieut. Crampton (according to the evidence) to the yard in which drill took place. Wilson described how he was pushed and punched by Lance-Corporal Walker, with Cramp-ton giving orders, while they were endeavouring to make him do pack drill. He had refused to obey the double quick march because it was page 149a military order. He was firmly resolved not to obey any military orders.
Quartermaster-Sergt. Porter said Wilson was driven round the yard with a pack on and with Smith and another man on either side holding an arm, and Crampton chasing round giving orders. Crampton's orders were: "Keep him going." There was a little blood flying around. Wilson was knocked about in a way no sensible man would treat a dog. He (witness) had told Crampton he was breaking the regulations. Crampton was in the habit of blackguarding him (witness) in the office.
When the courtmartial resumed on the fourth day the Judge-Advocate argued that "the law permitted force to be used for the maintenance of military discipline." He combatted the argument of Capt. Hudson, the prosecutor, that "any force was unnecessary because under no circumstances could force be used to a soldier except in accordance with the commands of a competent tribunal." The Judge-Advocate then proceeded to "stress the importance of maintaining and enforcing discipline." If the force used by Crampton was used to maintain military discipline, he contended, no offence had been committed.
The Court reserved its decision.
The third charge against Crampton was the treatment of William Bertram Donovan, who served 25 days' detention at Wanganui.
In the course of his evidence, Donovan said that on his arrival at the Barracks, Crampton asked if he would carry a rifle and wear a uniform. He replied that he would not—that he objected to military service. Crampton said: "I don't recognise military objectors here," and added: "Take him to the slaughter yard." After a pack had been put on him, and he refused to march, Corporal Jenkins put a rope round his neck, and started to pull him round the yard. Occasionally Smith and Parmenter pushed behind. When he fell, buckets of water were dashed into his face while he was lying on the ground. After about three quarters of an hour of this treatment, he said he was done and consented to march. Crampton said: "Yon have just lasted three quartets of an hour which is five minutes less than the man who lasted longest." He (witness) was again told to march, and he did. While he was marching Guard Williams was kicking him from behind and Parmenter on several occasions punched him on the back of the neck. Smith also pulled witness by the hair and nose. Accused (Crampton) hit him under the chin with a cane and told him to hold his head up. The blow was hard enough to break the skin and make it bleed. Crampton also hit him on the hand and told him to swing his arms. His hand was all swollen across the knuckles and he was also cut under the chin. Lance-Corporal Faulkner on several occasions pushed him into the wall. At the present time he was page 150serving a term of a year and eleven months' imprisonment for refusing to take his kit at Featherston. He was a Conscientious Objector and a Roman Catholic.
Thomas Moynihan, who was at the Wanganui Detention Barracks during May of 1918, deposed that as he was on his way to his own cell he saw Donovan in the "slaughter yard" with a rope around his neck, and immediately after heard bumping and scuffling in the yard, followed by groans and the sound of dragging.
Donald Kerr Porter, son of Colonel Porter, and who was Quartermaster-Sergeant at the time, said he saw Donovan being ill-treated. He was thrown on the ground and bumped against the wall. Witness thought he was dead. He saw Crampton telling Donovan to get up, and Jenkins pulling on the rope round Donovan's neck and dragging him along a few yards. He (witness) then left. He expected to hear next day that Donovan was dead.
Crampton admitted that he "put his hand under Donovan's chin to make him hold his head up," but denied that he struck him. Donovan had a slight scratch on his cheek which witness attributed to careless handling of the rifle.
J. M. M. Jenkins, corporal, said "the only time Crampton touched Donovan was to correct the position of the rifle."
Dr. Anderson, medical officer attached to the Barracks, said he examined Donovan, but found no marks on his neck.
Thomas William Smith, formerly a sergeant at Wanganui Barracks, gave evidence in support of the defence. He admitted that water was flung over Donovan, but said if Crampton struck him under the chin with a cane he did not see it.
The Court's decision was reserved.
The fourth charge against Crampton was taken on the fifth day of the "trial," when he was charged with permitting unnecessary force to be used to compel Donovan to obey an order.
Donovan and Moynihan gave evidence on similar lines to that tendered by them on the previous day.
Alister Beaton said that while undergoing 28 days' detention, he heard scuffling in the yard and a loud groan. He was on his way from the bathroom to his cell, and looking into the yard saw Donovan in a limp condition. The next morning he saw red marks on Donovan's neck and scratches on both sides of his face.
At this stage the prosecution asked for leave to put in as evidence the depositions of Private Joseph McConville before Mr. J. G. L. Hewitt, S.M., at the magisterial inquiry, the witness now being overseas. Counsel for accused objected, and the Court ruled the evidence was not admissable.
Benjamin Winch, a member of the Military Police at the Barracks, made reference to the treatment of Fitzpatrick, and said he knew that Donovan had been knocked about.page 151
Crampton, in the course of his evidence, said "he had been advised by the civil police that Donovan was a dangerous character." A rifle had been handcuffed to Donovan's wrist "as witness wanted to make sure he could not use it on the staff." He admitted that three buckets of water were poured over Donovan.
Under cross-examination by Captain Hudson, Crampton said: "If he had allowed a man to beat him, it would have meant the end of his career at the barracks. There was no difference in the treatment of a dangerous character, but witness would be more on his guard.
Arthur George Faulkner, lance-corporal, admitted that he had helped to pull Donovan along, but said it was untrue that Donovan was pulled around by the hair or nose. "Donovan tried to bite Sergeant Smith, and on that occasion Smith caught Donovan by the nose and pushed his head up."
On the sixth day, Major Osborne Lilly, Director of Personal Services, was a witness. He described a visit made by him to the Wanganui Barracks and his interviews with the men whose names were attached to the "Truth" letter. Replying to one of the men, he said he "formed the impression that Pallesen was not as sound in his mind as might be expected from a normal individual." He spoke to all the men except Wilson and Moynihan.
In reply to Captain Hudson, the Major admitted that he had not carried out his investigations in "a proper legal manner." Had he done so, he said, the persons against whom accusations were made should have been present. "It was not a secret investigation."
John Malcolm Morris Jenkins said he saw no ill-treatment of Donovan; and Sergt.-Major Bell described the methods employed at the Adessia Detention Barracks in Egypt, under Imperial control. At the time of his visit in February of last year, there were 200 soldiers in prison there, and they had some bad cases. All the men were told what would happen if they refused to obey orders. No refusal was allowed; force would be applied if a man refused to carry out orders. "He had seen it used on more than one occasion; it happened fairly frequently." If a man refused to put his uniform on he was taken in a room away from everyone else and given the option of putting on the uniform himself or having it put on by the staff. If he still refused he was forcibly dressed. If the man struggled, more force would have to be used to overcome his resistance, and sometimes he would get knocked about for his own fault. Witness had seen force used on several occasions to make a man march. The man was generally seized by each arm and marched along. If he refused to march then he would be frequently dragged by the feet. He would be kept on the move by relays of staff until he decided to march. Another method was to place him either two or three in a four when the parade was in columns of fours and give the order to quick march. He had either to march or be walked over. The method was generally effec-page 152tive. A rope was sometimes placed around the man's waist and he was pulled round till he was willing to march. Ill-treatment and foul-play were absolutely forbidden in the barracks, such as punching a man or causing him any bodily injury. There were safeguards against the abuse of force. The barracks were frequently inspected, and at such times the men under detention had an option of complaining, and if the soldier could prove that the staff had used unnecessary force to make him obey orders, the staff would get very short shrift. Witness remembered a man refusing to shave before going on parade. He was taken to his cell and forcibly shaved. These methods were generally successful in breaking down resistance and making men submissive. The treatment at this barracks was very much more lenient than at the Citadel, which was another detention barracks. The Adessia was known as "The Nursery."
This witness, under cross-examination, insisted that the Superintendent of the Detention Barracks was the judge of the amount of force to be used. "On what would he base his judgment?" asked Captain Hudson. "On the amount of resistance used by the soldier," replied the sergeant-major. "Would he not be guided by rules of Military Detention Barracks?" was the next question. "No," was the reply: "he would not think of them; it would be a case of man against man."
Counsel for Crampton argued that the force used "was merely sufficient to overcome the resistance."
Captain Hudson, in closing his case, remarked that accused and others had frankly admitted that a rifle was strapped to Donovan, a rope put around him, and water thrown over him when prostrate. According to the rules, Donovan should have been reported to the officer commanding to be dealt with under the Army Act. It was clear that unnecessary force had been used. There was nothing in the regulations to show that a man could be handcuffed to an object, fixed or otherwise. The use of a rope was not authorised in any way, and was a force that was unnecessary. No one was allowed to strike a soldier, unless in self defence.
The Judge-Advocate justified the use of water, and described Donovan's account of his treatment as "wild."
The Court reserved its decision.
The fifth charge against Crampton was that of striking John McConville, a soldier.
Captain Hudson asked leave to withdraw the charge, owing to McConville, the principal and only witness, being overseas, and the Court having already ruled that his evidence was not admissable.
The Judge-Advocate objected to the withdrawal of the case. He argued that if the evidence for the prosecution were insufficient, the Court could acquit Crampton.
The Court retired to consider the point, and on its return did not announce its decision.page 153
The sixth charge against Crampton was that he permitted unnecessary force to be used to compel McConville to do pack drill.
Owing to McConville having been embarked, his evidence was not available, and the Court reserved its decision.
The seventh charge against Crampton was that he allowed unnecessary force to be used to compel Thomas Moynihan to do pack drill. The case was called immediately prior to the Court's adjournment on the sixth day.
On the seventh day of the "trial," Moynihan entered the witness-box, and told the Court that while in the barracks, on 1st May, he was sentenced to pack drill. A uniform was given to him: he refused to put it on and it was forcibly put on. He was considerably knocked about. Lieut. Crampton was not present. At his request, witness was taken before Lieut. Crampton, and complained that he had been kicked over the heart. Witness showed him the marks. Lieut. Crampton asked Corporal Jenkins what it was for, and he replied that witness had refused to put on his uniform. "Oh, if that is so, we will soon fix you up," Crampton said. Witness was taken back to the cell, where the uniform was again forcibly put on him. Witness was ordered to pack drill after church. The pack was put on him forcibly, and witness was ordered to march. Corporal Parmenter bumped his head on the wall, and he was punched on the back. Lieut. Crampton was present then. Witness was ordered to march, but did not. He was punched around the yard for a few turns and bumped into the wall. Parmenter, Jenkins, Faulkner and Byrne used to take turns about, and punched him round the yard for a considerable time. Then they had a confab as what to do next. Lieut. Crampton came in and out of the yard and asked if witness would give in. Faulkner grabbed witness by the hair and pulled him along the yard. Witness struck him. Then they all got on to him and knocked him about. Faulkner kicked him while he was on the ground. Lieut. Crampton came into the yard then and made some remarks to witness which had the effect of stopping him from groaning. He then ordered the guards to carry on with witness. He said: "Push his head through the b— wall." The guards did their best to do it.
Someone suggested taking a photograph, which Lieut. Crampton adopted, and took photographs. Lieut. Crampton asked if witness would carry on, saying, "I'll beat you, Moynihan, I'm a pig-headed Irishman like you are." Witness asked to be given one guard at a time, and he would not care. His rifle was tied on to his left arm with a string, and kept coming off his shoulder. Faulkner bumped it against his face, and kept doing it until blood ran down his face. Jenkins told Faulkner to cut it out as it was spoiling the uniform. They kept at witness for an hour, and after that he was ordered inside. Witness then told them he would give in.page 154
In reply to Mr. Loughnan, witness said he was very violently kicked on many occasions, first in the cell, and then afterwards in the yard. He was kicked over the head, on the small of the back, and on the legs. After witness struck Faulkner, the latter used to be allowed to get at him, and then knocked him down, and struck him with his boots. The rifle was tied on to his shoulder with a piece of string, which went round his neck. Witness was exceedingly sore after this experience, and was for weeks afterwards. He was black and blue on the back. He stood to be photographed. Somebody kicked his feet into position, and Faulkner held the rifle while he was being photographed. It was before he was photographed that Faulkner struck him with the rifle barrel. He was examined by a doctor at the barracks some time after the occurrence. It was not the next day; it was just before he came away. It might have been the 5th when it took place. He would deny that he was examined on the 6th. He would contradict Lieut. Crampton if he said in witness's presence that he told the doctors that witness had complained that he had been kicked over the heart the previous day. The doctor did not examine him at any time as to the injury to the heart he had complained of. After he came out of the padded cell, where he had been for 48 hours on bread and water, witness was too weak to carry on, and the doctor examined him. This was before the pack drill. Witness denied that the barrel of the rifle was put through the shoulder strap and tied to his wrist at the commencement of the drill and remained in that position throughout the drill.
Roland Gordon Halkett, who was undergoing detention at the barracks, said he heard scuffling and struggling in the yard, and accused asking Moynihan if he would do any drill. Witness heard bashing and bumping against the wall, and Crampton say: "Give him some more," and "Keep him going." Shortly afterwards witness heard groans coming from the yard, and accused's voice telling Moynihan to get up. Witness saw Moynihan two days after with the marks on his face.
Quartermaster-Sergt. Porter said that Moynihan, while doing pack drill, was punched by Parmenter and kicked by Faulkner.
Dr. Anderson said Moynihan complained of an injury to his chest about the heart, and witness could find no trace of it.
Accused Crampton said Moynihan was given pack drill for refusing to put on uniform. As he refused to march witness ordered the guards to take turns in pushing him round the yard. Moynihan finally agreed to do his drill. When Moynihan came to the barracks first he declared he would only fight for Ireland, and he (Crampton) accordingly regarded him as "a defiant shirker."
Arthur George Faulkner denied that he kicked Moynihan or grabbed him by the hair. John M. M. Jenkins and Edward Byrne denied that Moynihan was either hit or kicked. The latter witness, however, said he was not present all the time.page 155
The eighth charge against Crampton was heard on the ninth day of the "trial." Crampton was charged with having permitted the staff to use unnecessary force to compel Alister Beaton to do pack drill.
Alister Beaton said Crampton ordered him pack drill for two hours, also to be deprived of his mattress for two days on a charge of "insolence." He was forcibly dressed in denims, and taken to the yard, where he declined to take the rifle handed to him. It was handcuffed to his wrist. He was ordered to march, and refused. Crampton put a rope round his neck, and he was dragged round the yard by Sergt. Smith, Corporal Parmenter pushing behind. Witness was continually being bumped into a corner of the wall, and he started to bleed freely from the face. At Crampton's orders Smith got witness by the hair and dragged him round the yard, a handful of hair coming out. Smith caught hold again and another handful same out. After a time witness consented to hold the rifle. While he was marching round, Private Haines trod on his heels to quicken his step. During one of the rounds, Private Byrne came in and rained punches on his back and neck for some little time. After witness had consented to march Crampton asked if he would put the uniform on, and on receiving a refusal, ordered him to go round again. During one of the rounds, Crampton poked him in the ribs with his cane. On one of the last rounds, witness fell to the ground; he got up as quickly as he could, cannoned into the back wall and then hit the other wall, the blow nearly knocking him out. Crampton then called a halt and ordered a uniform to be put on him. After a little more marching, Crampton asked him if he had any complaint to make. He at first did not answer, but eventually said he had none. Some time later Crampton asked the men at tea if any who had obeyed orders had been ill-treated. No one replied. He then asked if any who had disobeyed orders had been ill-treated. Witness told him he had got a pretty rough handling. He replied: "My God, you did! And you will get it again." The night of the pack drill witness was examined by a doctor, who asked how he got the abrasions on the face. Crampton answered for witness, and said it was an omission on witness's part that day.
Cross-examined by Mr. Loughnan, witness said Bryne was the only man who struck him. As a result of the blows, the back of his head and neck were sore and stiff. He did not show this condition to the doctor. The doctor was making a mistake in saying the scratch on his face was slight. It was so bad that two days later scabs formed and prevented him shaving. Witness said he told the Magistrate that he considered the treatment that he got in the yard was brutal. It did not look very much on paper, but for an untrained man to go through it was very bad. He was quite sure the rope was put round his neck, but it was not tight.
Harry Wilson said he was working when he saw Beaton being pulled around by a rope.page 156
The Court reminded witness that in his statement to the Magistrate he said that Beaton was being "dragged," and demanded to know why he now said "pulled."
Witness replied that he used the words "pulled" and "dragged" in the same sense. In his cell he heard shouts and orders coming from the yard, and sickening thuds coming from the wall. He heard Crampton say: "Push his head through the wall," and "I would rather bury you than let you win." He also heard Crampton say: "Oh, Beaton, the sight of blood does my eyes good." This lasted about twenty minutes. Afterwards witness saw blood on the walls of the building in the yard where Beaton had been, also splashes of blood all round the yard. Witness saw Beaton at tea time, and his face was badly knocked about—his cheeks reminded him of pieces of raw steak.
R. G. Halkett said he was working in the kitchen when he heard orders and scuffling coming from the yard. He subsequently saw Beaton pass the kitchen door, and noticed that his face was bleeding. Two days later he noticed marks on Beaton's face.
Thomas Moynihan stated that he saw Beaton in the yard with the rope round his neck and being pulled along. This was while witness was passing on the way to his cell. He subsequently heard scuffling in the yard. He saw Beaton after he came out of the yard; there was blood on his face and the skin was off. He saw hair in the yard next morning and blood on the wall. The hair was Beaton's, and there was a handful of it.
Quartermaster-Sergt. Porter said he saw Beaton with the pack on on two or three occasions. On the first occasion witness saw Beaton punched and knocked against the fence by Smith and Parmenter. After his pack drill, Beaton and several others were not examined for several days, perhaps for a week.
Crampton said Beaton's attitude on admission was one of "defiance and insolence." He admitted that the rifle was tied to Beaton's shoulder and lashed round his body with rope. It was also handcuffed to his wrist. "He proved most obstinate, and it took two men practically the whole time to push and pull him round." For fifteen minutes Beaton put up a big fight against the force used. The discipline maintained in the Barracks was everything that could be desired. He denied saying that "the sight of blood did his eyes good." He denied that he gave Smith any order to seize Beaton by the hair, nor did he see him being dragged about the yard by the hair of the head. He did not think it extraordinary that Beaton's nose began to bleed.
Edward Byrne (one of the staff engaged when Beaton was doing pack drill) denied that he struck Beaton at any time, or that Smith dragged Beaton by the hair. Beaton "offered a violent resistance in the yard."
Sergeant Smith said that Beaton "did not fight at all," but would page 157not march. He did not hear Crampton use the expressions alleged by Beaton, nor did he seize Beaton by the hair and drag him along. The rope was used not for pulling him round the yard, but for pulling him to his feet.
After hearing addresses from prosecutor and counsel, the Court reserved its decision.
The ninth charge against Crampton was that on May 5, 1918, he permitted unnecessary force to compel William Smith Badger to do pack drill.
W. S. Badger said he came to the Barracks at the end of May. He was ordered drill the day after he arrived. Sergt. Smith handcuffed the rifle to his wrist, and then pushed witness from him with a punch. Crampton came into the yard, and when Smith told him witness would not carry on, he ordered his cane to be brought from the office. After Crampton came into the yard Smith rushed at witness with his teeth bared. Previous to this Smith had kicked him, but he did not know whether Crampton was then present. Smith turned witness round, pushed him, and continued to punch him round the yard. Crampton came alongside and used very bad language to witness, and tapped him under the wrist with his cane, telling him to keep him hand up.
Cross-examined by Mr. Loughnan, witness said he had been kicked and punched by Smith before he was certain Crampton had come into the yard.
Mr. Loughnan was proceeding to read portions of the statement witness had made before the Magistrate, when witness asked for the whole of his evidence to be read, and was told peremptorily by the Court: "Your duty before this Court is to answer questions." Whereupon the witness strongly protested against this procedure. It was only fair, he urged, that the whole of his evidence should be read. "Don't argue," commanded the Court; "answer the questions put to you." Witness firmly denied that he complained to Crampton about Smith kicking and assaulting him.
Frederick Pallesen said he was being drilled in the yard with Badger, when the latter put his rifle down and refused to carry on. "Sergt. Smith then came in, carrying a rope, and he walked up to Badger and kicked him." Witness was immediately ordered out of the yard.
Crampton, in his evidence, alleged that Badger had complained to him that Smith had kicked him. When witness asked Smith about it he denied the charge, but admitted that "he had caught Badger by the shoulders, put his knee behind him, and straightened him up and gave him a push ahead." He (witness) "could positively swear that Badger was not kicked or punched by Sergt. Smith."
The tenth charge against Crampton was that he permitted the staff to use unnecessary violence to compel F. Pallesen to do pack drill. He pleaded not guilty.page 158
Captain Hudson asked for a ruling on the point whether the force referred to must be physical force.
The Court ruled that the force used must be physical force, and the case broke down on the technicality.
The eleventh charge against Crampton, heard on the tenth day of the "trial," was that he permitted unnecessary force to be used by the staff to compel George Carian to obey orders.
George Carian said the morning after his arrival he was ordered by Corporal Williams to have a bath, and, after bathing, was kicked and also punched on the back of his neck by the cornoral as he moved along the passage on his way to his cell.
Eugene Hurlihy said that on the night when Carian came in he took a fit in his cell, and witness heard Crampton tell Carian that if he took any of his fits there he would get his guts kicked out. Smith was in the cell also, and told him if he wanted to die he would lend him a razor, and if he didn't have enough guts to cut his throat, he would lend him a gun, and he could shoot himself. Witness said he saw no force used on Carian while Crampton was present.
Dr. Anderson deposed that he saw Carian occasionally during his stay in the Barracks, and he complained only of palpitation of the heart and generally out of sorts.
Crampton denied the statement made by Hurlihy. No such language was ever used to Carian. Carian had never laid a complaint, although every man under detention knew of the proper procedure. Witness knew nothing of the occurrence at all. Carian was certainly punished for inattention on parade; he was given an hour's pack drill, which witness considered sufficient. Carian, according to a statement from the A.A.G., Palmerston North, was a confirmed soap-eater and malingerer.
The Court found Crampton not guilty of the whole eleven charges, and "honourably acquitted" him.
Immediately after the courtmartial, Crampton was given the position of Area Officer, Group 20, Wanganui. The whole of the prisoners left the Wanganui Barracks on January 6, the building was handed back to the civil authorities on February 10, and Crampton (who remained behind to clear up various matters) relinquished command on March 25, receiving the appointment mentioned above. A further reference to the case will be found among the Appendices.
On September 2, I placed the following notice of motion on the Parliamentary Order Paper: "That there be laid on the table of the House all the papers in connection with Lieut. Crampton's term of office at Samoa, including the full report of, and evidence in, his trial by courtmartial at Samoa." At the date of publication, I am still awaiting the opportunity to move it.