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The Home Front Volume I

CHAPTER 4 — Response from the Home Front

page 133

Response from the Home Front

AS the ‘phoney war’ in Europe was swept away by the blitzkrieg, and the Battle of Britain followed, there was in New Zealand an upsurge of wanting to contribute to the struggle, to pull one’s weight, and again frustration because there was so little to do. But it did not wholly subside in grumbles about lack of leadership. It produced a rising tide of enlistment, a violent spurt of giving to patriotic funds, of loans and gifts of money to the government for general war purposes, and renewed uneasiness about the 40-hour week. Farm production was increased and changed to answer new British needs; some industries, such as woollen mills, clothing and bootmaking swelled at once; some engineering firms began making munitions. The Home Guard was formed, Emergency Precaution schemes took place, the chambers of commerce organised waste metal collections. There were rapid and widespread efforts to help Britain directly, with money for aeroplanes; typists, housewives and schoolgirls sewed and knitted for the victims of bombing. There were proposals to ration bacon and cheese, to send gift shipments of food; there were arrangements to billet British children.

The impulse to do something was patchy and did not overwhelm long-standing interests. An example of its quality was provided by the King’s Birthday holiday of Monday, 3 June 1940. As early as 8 May Truth had suggested that all proceeds from the many sports events should go to patriotic funds. By an Order-in-Council on 30 May the holiday was indefinitely postponed, the Minister of Labour announcing that every shop, office and factory would be working on Monday; workers all over the country had expressed eagerness to do so and to give the day’s earnings to patriotic funds. How spontaneous this eagerness was may be doubted. Certainly the Waitara and Longburn freezing workers made such an offer, which led the organisers of the current Sick and Wounded Fund to launch a national appeal for similar donations.1 But the unions at New Plymouth, for example, some of which had already decided to make weekly contributions to patriotic funds, were surprised by the page 134 announcement, though prepared to follow larger unions.2 Some other unions, while not opposed to such collections, objected to members being compelled or stampeded into giving money they might not be able to afford.3 Generally the holiday was forgone and many of its sports fixtures cancelled, but four large race-meetings were held, though attendances were diminished. Attention was focused on this by the slaughtermen of Westfield who, on hearing at 10 am that the Ellerslie meeting had not been cancelled as they had been led to expect, downed knives and went off.4

The urge to do something faded for many people because there was no extra or different task at hand. Speeches and posters urged them to back up the Fighting Forces, Work for Victory, Work for your Lives—‘in the factory no less than in the field, will victory be won’—but many workers in ordinary jobs could not see that extra effort would in any way help Britain or win the war, though it would obviously benefit their immediate employers.

A few owners offered to do war-work at non-profit rates. Sidney Holland, hoping that other firms would do likewise, offered his Family’s engineering factory and garage for war work without profit, including the staff who were willing to do overtime without pay.5 There was no rush of emulation, but one Invercargill motor engineering firm, H. E. Melhop, made a similar offer6—admittedly the motor industry, under petrol restrictions, was slack—while a Port Chalmers ship-repairing firm, Stevenson and Cook Engineering Company, first placed its plant and staff at government disposal, then offered a unit of 50 trained men for such work anywhere in the world.7 The staff and executives of two trading firms, A. S. Paterson and Williams and Kettle, offered to work for any government purpose in their spare time8 while 200 members of the Auckland State Advances Corporation offered an extra hour a day without overtime.9 Such offers were politely received and publicised for their splendid patriotic spirit, but there was no immediate use for them, and they did not multiply.

In a few cases workers offered or agreed to work longer hours, giving their overtime pay to patriotic funds. For instance, those employed by a group of Christchurch leather manufacturers agreed to four extra hours weekly at double pay given to patriotic causes, page 135 by which, commented the Southland Times of 7 June, they greatly increased production and contributed £200 a week to the war drive without reducing their pay-packets. The men of timber mills near Rotorua and in the King Country offered an extra half day a month, at ordinary rates, their pay plus a donation from the employers going to patriotic funds.10 On the casting vote of the president, the Temuka branch of the New Zealand Workers’ Union offered to perform overtime at ordinary rates and, if the Minister of Labour thought it necessary, to work a 44-hour or 49-hour week immediately.11

But these offers touched the thorny problem of the 40-hour week. Traditionally, Labour did not object to extra hours, within reason, but demanded higher pay rates for them. Even sporadic setting aside of this principle, though genuinely voluntary and patriotic, could undermine trade unionism’s achievements as thoroughly as any scabbing, nor was it unthinkable that wily employers might contrive such offers. The workers at Booth Macdonald, a Penrose foundry partly engaged on munitions, offered to further the war effort by working on Saturday mornings at ordinary rates of pay. The Minister of Labour, backed by the Industrial Emergency Council, refused the offer, saying that the evidence submitted did not justify extended hours.12 A similar appeal made in grand style by some farm implement workers in the Waikato was less summarily but as effectively squashed. On 16 July they resolved:

In view of Mr Churchill’s broadcast this morning and the Prime Minister’s appeal for greater output and harder work, the factory staff of A. M. Bisley … in work essential to primary production, are prepared and willing and respectfully urge the Prime Minister that they be permitted to follow the example set by the workmen in Britain and work such hours at standard rates of pay as are considered essential. In the interests of freedom and our Empire we urge the Government to bring in regulations permitting this to be done for the duration of the war.13

The Prime Minister acknowledged their patriotic spirit and referred the resolution to the Minister of Labour. The staff of 24 worked 45 hours a week till checked by shortage of steel. In September, with more steel on hand, the firm proposed to resume its 45-hour week, but was told by the union that the men could work the extra hours page 136 only at overtime rates.14 The firm was ready to face prosecution,15 considering the question one of national importance, and opposition leaders complained in the House of ‘mass-unionism and bossocracy’ which thus prevented workers from expressing their patriotism in the one way they best could.16

A writer to the Evening Post on 23 July voiced exasperation with the slogans that could not be followed.

“Produce for Victory” … “Work for your life” … Rich man, poor man, we have spare hours we are anxiously waiting to give. All men, women, and youths have spent eleven months waiting for a lead telling them where they shall seek that extra work they are ready and willing to perform for Victory. How can the non-productive produce, except by preventing waste…. How can the 40-hour a week union worker seek extra hours of work in a trade to the union of which he does not belong? How can an executive outside the unions work with pick and shovel inside the union as he would be glad to do….

Nor were trade unions the only barrier to extra work. A Christchurch man, rejected for the Services, but desperate to help, offered his labour free on any Sunday to enable some farmer to do more important work, hoping that this would start a Canterbury weekend service unit among the many like himself who would be ashamed to take a penny. The chairman of the North Canterbury Farmers’ Union thanked him, saying that this was a very fine gesture, but such a thing was not needed yet. ‘After all, when he’s working all the week, the farmer really must have some leisure on Sundays, and if an offer like this was accepted he would have to supervise what was being done.’ With the petrol shortage, the would-be helper could not get very far from the city.17

The 40-hour week, of course, came under heavy frontal attack during the agitations at the end of May,18 and continued to do so. Farmers and businessmen held that only by producing more without increasing labour costs could the spiral of scarce goods and rising prices be checked. Some militant unions, however, saw the crisis being used against them and to increase profits, while there were still workers unemployed. For at this stage there were still thousands page 137 without regular work. In early July 1940 it was estimated that 1200 men in Christchurch were out of work because of the closing of seasonal jobs like the freezing works.19 Official quarters in Wellington explained that before relief measures came in an estimated 10 000 men managed to make a bare living by working when and where it suited them, and were satisfied to do so. These men had remained a permanent section of the community, and so long as they did not exceed 10 000 the position was normal. There were plenty of jobs on farms for experienced men and even for inexperienced men if single and fit; elsewhere openings were not so easy.20 Unionists could therefore claim that proper utilisation of manpower, drafting it to the industries most in need, was all that the war effort required as yet; ‘if and when there is any real need for an extension of the working week … the workers will be the first to realise and give effect to it’.21 Meanwhile they did not ‘wish to sacrifice the 40-hour week on the altar of hysteria’, and knew that any unjustified extension of hours might well become a heritage of labour.22

The argument about working hours had been going on since the beginning of the war, and was to recur again and again. Under the shock of Dunkirk, a slightly placatory note sounded from some of the advocates of longer hours: for unity they would make some compromise. The Wellington Chamber of Commerce suggested friendly, round-table discussions with its critics from the railway workshops.23 The Dominion president, W. S. MacGibbon, told Canterbury farmers that people should not say without thinking that the 40-hour week should be thrown overboard; in some industries this might be an advantage, in others it might only increase costs. At the same meeting, a farmer opposing a motion for its abolition said that a request of that sort would only irritate government and workers, and drive a wedge between them and the farmers. Voting however was for abolition, ‘at least for the duration’.24

The government declared that its position was clear and consistent: the 40-hour week was not sacred, it would go if and where it was clearly hindering the war effort, but many industries were short of raw materials and longer hours would only increase unemployment. Any company or industry requiring extended hours for work connected with the war, and not able to afford full overtime rates, page 138 could apply to the Industrial Emergency Council, which heard evidence from all parties concerned, and the adjustments which it deemed necessary would be made effective by orders-in-council.

Even in 1939 men of many trades engaged on defence and emergency works, such as military camps and roads and aerodromes, had worked two or three shifts if necessary with only two or three shillings extra per shift, although opposition to shift-work was part of the unionists’ creed and firmly built into awards. In June 1940 new Labour Legislation Emergency Regulations (1940/123) gave the Minister of Labour, advised by the Industrial Emergency Council, power to alter conditions in any industry or firm in any way connected with the war, and many changes in labour conditions were made, especially in the next few months.25 Within a year there were changes, sometimes successive changes, in the established conditions of about a dozen industries: ammunition making, woollen milling, clothing trades, slipper making, cement and asbestos manufacture, brushware, timber-milling, tinsmithing for the dairy industry, tanning, shearing and cheese-making.26 By these orders shifts were allowed, hours at ordinary rates extended, overtime lessened, and apprentice conditions waived. The effect in general was that longer hours were worked for less pay than the peacetime awards prescribed. Newspapers, however, did not stress that these workers were without protest forgoing peacetime wages, though there was quite frequent mention of the large sums that other workers gained through overtime.

Here it may be noted that in mid-1940 the coal miners, normally not over-willing, made a voluntary, if temporary, increase in their hours at ordinary rates. Several factors, including floods and lessened Australian supplies, caused a coal shortage. The miners, at the request of their Minister and the owners, agreed to 11 days a fortnight instead of 10, working four hours on each of five alternate Saturdays; this, as Minister P. C. Webb put it, ‘got us out of a crisis’.27

Farmers who since the start of the war had been urged to produce more, without any particular demand or organisation, were in mid-May warned by Nash that their market was becoming more restricted. There were in New Zealand 85 000 tons of meat and 18 000 tons of butter more than Britain wanted, and the competition of margarine had strengthened, its quality being improved, while the price of butter had risen by 5d a pound since the war’s start. Many British page 139 people claimed that it was not worth risking the life of a single sailor to import butter while margarine at 5d to 9d per lb had an obvious advantage over New Zealand butter at Is 7d,28 especially when heavy war taxation compelled household economy. Relief, therefore, mingled with the sympathy felt by farmers when dairy supplies from the Low Countries and France were cut off. Now Britain asked for 15 000 tons more cheese and 10 000 tons more pigmeat. New Zealand farmers could see that protein was more necessary than butter in the British diet, and the difficulty of selling butter against margarine further commended cheese production. Some 6000 farmers more or less voluntarily set about sending milk instead of cream to their factories, without waiting to be pressed by the emergency powers.29 However, it was necessary also to maintain supplies of butter, lest its English price, rising through scarcity, should drive it off the market, causing Britons to lose their taste for it permanently. Earlier in the year Britain had so accepted the improved, unrationed and much cheaper margarine that there was an actual surplus of butter with the ration at 8 oz. When in June the butter ration was dropped to 4 oz people preferred unrationed margarine. In July, when the total fat ration became 6 oz of butter and margarine in any proportion, increasing butter sales made a limit of 4 oz necessary from the end of August.30 Farmers were anxious to keep costs (ie, wages, etc) down, lest the price they must charge should press unkindly on war-drained Britain and, further, lest it put butter in the position of caviar, with margarine capturing the market. This aspect, remarked the Point Blank editorial of 15 June, was ‘perhaps even more important than the patriotic one.’

Perhaps this aspect was a reason for the prominence of butter in several proposals to give—not sell—food to Britain. Thus in Southland, Adam Hamilton’s brother proposed giving a million pounds of butter, which ‘would promote lasting good-will … a more opportune time to make such a gift might not arise’, and he himself would contribute the cost of 1000lb.31 At Gisborne the Kia Ora Co-operative Dairy Company gave £1,000 to provide a gift of butter as a win-the-war donation to Britain.32 At Whakatane it was thought that boxes of butter and carcases of meat would be more appreciated by distressed Britons than gifts of money, and in addition the goodwill engendered would do much to assist the marketing of New page 140 Zealand produce after the war.33 A similar proposal came from Banks Peninsula.34 At Palmerston North the Chamber of Commerce suggested that a million carcases of lamb should be given;35 the Red Cross at Auckland proposed 45 000 boxes of butter.36 The Auckland Chamber of Commerce spoke of giving £ million sterling or some free cargoes, while admitting that the Farmers’ Union was not enthusiastic about the latter.37 A sprinkling of letters in papers hoped for schemes whereby modest people could contribute towards gift shipments of food. These thought mainly of butter: the British ration of four ounces a week stuck in their minds, and they often suggested rationing themselves to make more available.38 Presumably gifts of butter would have been welcome in England, though the organisation needed in New Zealand would have been disproportionate. But less sentimental counsel prevailed. On 28 May Fraser pointed out that Britain had agreed to take only 115 000 tons of butter though New Zealand could make 125 000 tons available. He later reminded the chambers of commerce that there was considerable incongruity in offering free produce to Britain while borrowing millions of British pounds for war purposes.39 The Farmers’ Union warned the chambers of commerce that gift shipments might interfere with government commitments,40 and it is probable that Nash, as Minister of Marketing, signed other letters41 like that sent to the Waiuku Women’s Institute which had asked about giving butter: all refrigerated cargo space was being used for purchased produce, an equivalent amount of which would be delayed by gift shipments and, apart from distribution difficulties, such a transaction would affect the position between New Zealand and the United Kingdom in regard to sterling and war funds.42

A few direct food gifts were made. For instance, in October 20 000 eggs were sent, chiefly from Hawke’s Bay, through the Women’s Division of the Farmers’ Union, for free distribution to hospitals and the Red Cross, but no more shipping was available for eggs that season.43 Southland schools arranged a pig-feeding scheme that promised 155 baconers, which by courtesy of the shipowners and page 141 with the blessing of the Minister of Agriculture, would be sent free to the British government.44 Free transport was also contrived by J. J. Maher,45 an Upper Hutt farmer, who sent off 25 pigs in October, with a letter naming all who took part in the enterprise.46

Fairly widespread, particularly among farmers, were proposals that cheese and bacon should be rationed in New Zealand or commandeered for export, thus increasing immediately the amount going to Britain.47 One report of such a suggestion, from the Canterbury District Pig Council, indicated that the farmers’ keenness to succour Britain with bacon was heightened by suspicion that the government would first nourish its own supporters in the towns: ‘the government would see that New Zealand did not want, but would disregard the needs of the Mother country. It was on this consideration that the motion was carried unanimously’. New Zealanders could always eat more mutton instead.48 In August a State Advances official, after a tour of the North Island, told the Manawatu Council of Primary Production that there was a ‘tremendous body of opinion’ in favour of rationing bacon and cheese; the Council, however, considered that rationing was not needed to produce the 10 000 extra tons of bacon requested by Britain.49

Earlier, farmers had declared that to produce more they must have adequate labour and profit margins. Now they were at least partially shocked into forgoing these conditions. ‘Even production at a loss will be better than falling under Hitler’s iron heel,’ warned Mulholland in April.50 A Farmers’ Union secretary found his May tour of Canterbury and Otago ‘wonderful and inspiring’. Nowhere was there any desire to make money out of the war. ‘The temper of the farmers is that if the rest of the community is willing to … do a harder day’s work for a smaller net income they are quite willing page 142 to do the same’.51 A Point Blank correspondent wrote that in recent years government sins had produced an ‘obstinacy policy’ in many farmers, who were cutting costs by reducing production without reducing their net incomes, but now, with fertiliser and transport subsidies, he saw ‘certain alibis’ for not increasing production removed, and the stage set for a change of attitude in many farmers.52 In July Mulholland advised that they must expect declining quality if not quantity in farm labour, also that they must accept married men and build houses for them, using the rural housing subsidy.53 A Tamaki farmer, hearing complaints about wharf labourers, said, ‘Never mind if other sections are not pulling their weight; let us as farmers go to the job and forget about overtime and increasing costs.’54

The 1940–1 production targets announced on 17 June 1940 called for 10 000 more tons of bacon than in the previous year, and 15 000 tons more cheese; beef and wool should be increased, while butter, mutton and lamb should be maintained at last season’s levels. Pasture and food crops seeds should be increased.55 It was announced on 12 June that Britain wanted 8000 tons of linen flax fibre and that South Island farmers should have 15 000 acres ready for sowing in September. Linen fibre, used in aircraft fabrics, parachute harness, fire hose, canvas and other articles, was a vital war material. The crop had not been grown commercially before, though during the past four years there had been some research and experiment in its production, and machinery for one fibre treatment unit had been imported.56 Farmers in 1940–1 under government contracts tackled a new crop and factories to extract the fibre were established, efforts described elsewhere.57

Primary Production Councils had been established already, but now they went to work with new energy, setting up small district committees to see how each farm could grow more: those with tractors and other equipment would co-operate with neighbours, some would grow more winter feed and stock crops or seed, some keep page 143 a few more cows and pigs.58 District Pig Councils, with their target one pig per cow, advised and cajoled. For example, the Wellington Council, explaining that every two bushels59 of barley grown would bring another store pig to bacon weight, issued a moving account of Britain’s efforts in pig-rearing, about Wimbledon’s velvet turf being used for grazing pigs and its groundsmen who would never smile again. ‘Think of Wimbledon! Think of that turf pugged by the cutting feet of pigs! Think of Britain facing the stark horror of total war in the cold grey months that lie ahead. Think of our own security, and then cast your eyes about your farm to decide just where barley shall be grown this year’.60

In Hawke’s Bay the Primary Production Council exhorted: ‘you may think yourself a sheep farmer, but fundamentally you may be a potential producer of pigs. So search your conscience, dig out that curry comb or oil up the tractor that has not yet earned its keep, and plough as you never did before. Plough your own land, plough your neighbour’s land, plough for victory, plough for Britain’s 45,000,000 mouths, plough for your kinsmen in the battle line….’61 Response to the barley appeals was modest and, as it later turned out, reasonable: more than 20 000 acres of barley were proposed for the southern half of the North Island, but by September 1940 it was reported that less than 5000 acres would be grown.62

There was readiness, to improvise, to find a way round shortages. For instance, changing to cheese meant more milk cans, so there Was much routing out and re-conditioning of old ones.63 More pigs meant more fencing and roofing, and production councils advised farmers to hunt up old wire from hedges and plantations and roofing iron from old buildings in town.64 A zealous family at Hawera, aiming at 600 baconers by April, built portable pig houses of pinus radiata on macrocarpa runners, all creosoted, covered with iron from bitumen drums.65 Some towns, notably Christchurch, set up municipal piggeries, run by men on Scheme 13, or collected food scraps from houses for farmers.66 Even conferences were forgone: one which would have taken hundreds of dairy farmers to Auckland in June page 144 was cancelled,67 and some districts considered cancelling annual Agricultural and Pastoral shows.

However, while the Farmers’ Union urged more and better production, it also called for proper direction of manpower and government economy on non-war objects, opposed wage increases and wanted longer hours without overtime.68 To sum up: the farming community, in the winter of 1940, did not throw out all thoughts of profit and loss, distrust of a non-farming government, its ancient enmity with the towns or resistance to the demands of labour; yet concern with these things diminished while farmers soberly but urgently turned to the tasks now clearly before them.

Farmers might well feel that they had their orders; women were welcomed back to the clothing factories and woollen mills that they had left on marriage; in many trades, workers and management might see that only by using existing plant, both to make more and to improvise for other products, could they fill the gaps in such everyday requirements as nails, roofing materials, electric light bulbs or gloves, caused by the failure of overseas supply. But there were still a great many women and older people who felt excluded from the excitement and sacrifice. Get on with the job was dull advice when so many jobs had not the slightest visible bearing on war or victory. There were, reproved Truth on 10 July 1940, too many

running round moaning and scare-mongering instead of getting on with their jobs. They wish this, that and the other—would like to take on some real war-work, toil seven days a week, they can’t get interested in anything, and so forth…. This is not England, no matter how anxious we all are to help. The time may come (perhaps sooner than we expect) when we can all do something worthwhile…. In the meantime, we are not helping the nation by moping round the wireless, cackling about the war at work, or helping to spread the latest rumour…. each can do his part by getting on with his own job. It all helps…. We all can’t immediately rush into khaki or war work without causing hopeless disorganisation and confusion. So in the meantime, let us ‘carry on’.

For weekends Truth advised fresh air instead of brooding over the radio, possibly listening to German propaganda; one should go to football, play golf, or walk, to help keep fit and in better spirit.69

‘Carrying on’ was all that so many could do. Offers from women and older persons to work on farms, as tram conductors, or in any page 145 way at all were received politely but there was no immediate need or niche. People wanted to do what was being done in England. Newspapers were full of pictures of land army girls tending animals and making hay; girls as skilled munition makers, girls clipping bus tickets; older men growing vegetables on allotments. In New Zealand, would-be land girls were told there was no need for them on farms though they could do domestic work in farm houses, thus freeing wives to help their husbands.70 They were not wanted as tram conductors for there was no shortage of male tramway workers.71 Town dwellers wanting allotment gardens72 were told that there was no shortage of vegetables, no need to cultivate parks and reserves.73

One war effort, however, was open to all: everyone could give money to various patriotic purposes, and in that first surprised uneasy winter, a great many did. Business firms, public bodies, banks and the well-to-do contributed in loans and donations the main part of the government’s War Purposes Fund, many lending thousands of pounds interest-free, some for one year, more for the duration of the war and longer. For example: Milne & Choyce lent £5,000 for a year; Parisian Neckwear, Auckland, and the Devonport Steam Ferry both lent £1,000 for the duration of the war and six months, the Permanent Building Society, Nelson, £2,000 for the same term.74 Old Digger, Kelso, lent £200 for the duration and twelve months, Newmarket Butchery, Christchurch, £100 for the duration, the North Rakaia River Board, £1,000 for the duration and six months and Woodville’s Legion of Frontiersmen, £15 likewise.75 The Ngati Tuwharetoa Tribal Trust gave £150 and lent £500 for the duration and six months;76 the Aupouri tribe of Parengarenga in the far north gave £100 and lent £1,000 on like terms, from ‘cash reserves earned within the native settlement within the past few years’.77 The New Zealand Rugby Union gave £1,000.78 The Auckland Racing Club lent £20,000 for the duration and six months,79 the Ashburton County Racing Club, £200,80 the Temuka Borough Council £1,280, and the Canterbury Law Society £1,000 on like terms.81 Trade unions page 146 lent their funds: the Dunedin Operative Bootmakers lent £500;82 the Amalgamated Carpenters and Joiners of Christchurch, £l,000;83 the New Zealand Workers Union on 27 June lent £5,000 for the duration and six months and, later, members donated sums totalling £2,088.84

This War Purposes Fund stood at £1,357,297 on 21 March 1940, at £1,692,140 on 27 April and £1,949,438 on 4 June.85 In the next fortnight it rose by £142,002 to £2,091,440,86 reached £2,197,921 by 24 June and £2,279,669 by 3 July,87 Thereafter it rose more slowly, being £2,457,562 by 3 August and £2,631,168 on 22 November.88

Donations also came freely to the established local patriotic boards, which in April had launched a national appeal for present comforts and later rehabilitation of servicemen. These donations were large and small, given by individuals, clubs and unions and by firms, both workers and employers contributing. Some were continuing gifts: several racing clubs decided to give their net profits for the duration to assorted patriotic purposes;89 regular contributions were made by some workers, such as those of the Post and Telegraph Department, who in June 1940 made their second donation of £400;90 in Wellington the Karori Horticultural Society in June gave £10 and decided that all wartime profits would be devoted to patriotic purposes instead of prizes.91 The freezing workers of Waitara decided on 1 June to give 6d in each pound of their wages for the duration.92 A few firms and at least one farmer offered their whole profits for the duration.93

Giving to patriotic funds had not been very enthusiastic during the first seven months of the war. It had rather resembled the recruiting campaign during the ‘phoney war’, with organisers working valiantly for only moderate response ‘until the surge of the May-June crisis, which coincided with the launching of the Sick, Wounded page 147 and Distress Fund under the banners of the Red Cross and the Order of St John, reached purses and cheque books.’94 The big firms gave freely, but there were also hosts of small givers. Workers’ unions and regular staff contributions were prominent, the latter often subsidised by their firms; small groups like the Taita Women’s Institute and Hutt Central School pupils gathered their shillings and pounds.95 The First XV of Rongotai College, Wellington, even offered to forgo their football caps, giving instead £5 to the fund, but the Wellington College Board of Governors considered this too great a sacrifice for their school’s team to make.96 There were stalls and dances and concerts and card parties and collections by children, there were raffles, copper trails and queen carnivals, radio appeals and auctions and flag days, and stock sales where a heifer might be sold thirteen times. Suburbs and local patriotic committees vied with each other. The war was urgent and close in people’s minds and giving to this appeal was a way of taking part in it—though as yet there were virtually no wounded New Zealanders. The giving was at times almost exuberant. The skills of commercial travellers in particular gained astonishing results. A Press report of 30 May thought that all records were probably broken when an Aucklander on a decorated float at the end of a drive auctioned two lettuce leaves for 18s 6d and 22s 3d respectively.97 Such things were highlights; generally much solid effort lay behind the fairs and stalls and entertainments.

Also people paid for the war, willy nilly, through taxation. On 28 June 1940, under tall headlines, papers explained that the war required £37,500,000 for the current year. Of this £20 million, earmarked for use overseas, would be lent by Britain, the rest would be raised in New Zealand. Already all persons over 16 years were paying one shilling in every pound of wages, salary and other income as social security tax; now they would pay a further shilling on every such pound as national security tax.98 Income tax, on all income over £200, had been increased by 15 per cent for war purposes in 1939. This increment remained, and in addition the basic rate was now 2s 6d in the pound instead of 2s, rising to 12s for individuals and 8s 9d for companies. Sales tax doubled from five to ten per cent.99

page 148

Government policy was to pay for the war substantially out of taxation and internal borrowing, methods which checked inflation— despite full employment, overtime and more women being at work— by reducing consumption of goods and services and lessening private investment. Taxation over a wide field increased progressively, but borrowing produced even more: special war taxation yielded £225 million up to March 1946, while £27 million of general taxation was transferred to war purposes from the consolidated fund, but borrowing in New Zealand provided £242 million. A further £53 million borrowed in the United Kingdom was progressively repaid, with the final payment being made early in 1946.100

After 1939, a substantial internal loan was raised in each war year, with two in 1942. Appeals were pushed with all the persuasions of speeches, radio talks, advertisements, posters, parades and canvassing through trade unions, shops, factories and all places of work. Progress reports on each loan were published in newspapers, with some subscribers mentioned, both large and small; targets were often surpassed. In 1940, some £10 million was raised by a compulsory loan. The idea was to make all who had means do what some were doing voluntarily in the interest-free loan. The minimum subscription was to be the equivalent of income tax for the year ended 31 March 1939, decreased by £50 for individuals and £70 for companies. As security, stock was issued to mature in 1953 and not to bear interest till October 1943. Only this loan was compulsory;101 patriotism and pressure sufficed for the rest.

To cater for small contributors, the National Savings Act in 1940 provided for the issue of 3-year and 5-year saving bonds of £1, £10 or £100 at three per cent interest, and for special savings accounts with the post office and trustee savings banks, on two and three year terms, also at three per cent. The scheme was launched, with strong publicity, on 10 October 1940. In the early stages district targets were announced, appealing to local loyalty and competition. Post offices which attained their weekly quotas flew special flags, and newspapers announced their success. Later, pressure was largely sustained through canvassing at the sources, through places of work, persuading people to arrange for regular deductions from pay packets. By March 1946, National Savings investment had contributed £40 million.102

To sum up: ‘out of a total of £628 million, the people and institutions of New Zealand had by 31 March 1946 made available, by lending or in taxes paid, £494 million, or close to 80 per cent. page 149 The balance was met by reciprocal aid arrangements and, to a minor extent, by other receipts. There was no outstanding overseas debt as a result of World War II.’103

The first efforts to raise patriotic funds on a national scale were similar to the fund-raising activities of the First World War, but the Minister of Internal Affairs had requested delay: the government would produce a scheme for national organisation, to avoid overlapping,104 waste and abuse. This scheme appeared early in October 1939. It was topped by the Minister himself, assisted by an advisory council. A National Patriotic Fund Board would administer expenditure appropriate to a national body, notably all money spent on troops overseas.

Funds would come partly from direct contributions, partly from provincial councils. Eleven such councils were placed in general charge of collection and of local expenditure. Their areas were those already established for the national centennial celebrations long planned for 1940 and, to start with, the centennial committees were given the new task of organising for patriotic funds, with authority to call on other interested bodies or persons and to delegate collecting powers. These extensions were obviously necessary, for as the Press of 9 October remarked, ‘Members admirably qualified for one service may not be equally well qualified, or qualified at all, for the other.’

Army camps supplied only the necessities for living and training. Recreation huts, libraries, sports equipment, band instruments and all extra comforts in camps, forts, guarded points and on ships were provided by patriotic funds, with bodies such as the YMCA, the churches and Red Cross doing on-the-spot organisation. The bare, rapidly growing camps were obvious and immediate targets for patriotic bounty.

In November, in conference, the National Patriotic Fund Board and the provincial councils worked out their respective responsibilities. The National Board would provide comforts for troops overseas, on ships and for prisoners-of-war. Also, in the home camps it would erect, furnish and maintain recreation rooms run mainly by the YMCA and Salvation Army. The provincial councils would set up and maintain canteens and social rooms, such as the various Welcome Clubs, in towns near camps. They would provide sports equipment, band instruments, fruit for servicemen, and wool to be knitted into socks, scarves and balaclavas. They would also make page 150 small grants to bridge some needy gaps before a serviceman and his dependents began receiving service pay, or before a discharged man could obtain work or relief. It was established that the National Board would provide for the sick and wounded, while the provincial councils would build up reserves for the care of soldiers on their return:105 in rehabilitation no one as yet was clear how much would be done by central government, how much locally.

At first money was slowly given. There were many backward glances to the stirring activity and generous giving of 1914, when women went into action with fairs, Paddys’ markets, sales of work, flag days, and concerts; when churches raised large sums, when flags and livestock were auctioned, when hotels had collection boxes, and district vied with district. Government regulations now restrained would-be fund-raisers. All money collected had to go to the provincial authorities, which seemed very remote to small towns. For instance patriotic committees at Otahuhu and Te Aroha explained that their communities wanted their contributions to be handled by a local authority, so that they could know how they were spent.106 Some centennial committees moved rather stiffly in their new tasks, ready money was not plentiful, and there was room for feeling that patriotic giving was merely paying another tax, as one newspaper correspondent put it.107

It was easy to point to public works or to the new £80,000 2ZB radio station at Auckland and say that the government should spend such money on its soldiers. Opposition to the ‘socialistic’ commandeer of goods for marketing overseas and to the check on price rises by the price fixing tribunal was running high, and despite repeated statements that the government itself would not handle patriotic funds, the regulations seemed another State intrusion into a field properly the concern of individuals.

Such opposition was fanned, or at least strongly voiced, by some newspapers, probably as part of their general criticism of the government. Thus the New Zealand Herald on 3 January 1940 declared that patriotic funds were disgracefully inadequate.108 In 1914, at a comparable stage, Auckland province alone had raised more than £50,000 for patriotic purposes, and £20,000 for Belgian relief. The present organisation, designed to prevent small abuses, waste and duplication, was blameless but barren. ‘Any faults in 1914, on the page 151 other hand, were washed away in bountiful showers of cash.’ Organisation from Wellington and nominated local committees had taken the heart out of a very human business, substituting a cold slab of officialdom. Response would not fail if it were all put back into the hands of the people. Let the districts go to work in their own way, electing their own committees, devising ways and means subject to popular will. Let there be recognition of district patriotism and desire to have a voice in spending local money.109

A Press report on 13 January110 similarly contrasted Canterbury’s lavish giving in 1914 with current meagreness. Its editorial on 17 January said that the public missed the variety and energy of the 1914–18 collecting devices; appeals should have clear aims and the prestige of established bodies like the Red Cross should draw money to appropriate specific causes rather than to a general pool.

The Patriotic Fund scheme, however, had some early and reputable champions. The Associated Chambers of Commerce on 16 November suggested that the regulations had been misunderstood, and urged warm support. The Governor-General, Lord Galway,111 president of the National Board, in his New Year speech answered objections. He stressed that the money contributed would not be handled by the government, as many seemed to believe, but by men of known integrity on the National Board and provincial councils, who were generously giving their services. The scheme was designed to avoid overlapping and waste, ensuring that each shilling would reach those for whom it was intended; anyone could earmark his contribution for a particular purpose, such as the Red Cross, or the YMCA.112

Already, for both national and local funds collectors were busy with street collections and the like. For instance the Wellington Provincial Council’s ‘very successful’ flag day on 8 December 1939 raised £1,235.113 In mid-December the first national appeal, to provide comforts for the troops soon starting overseas, was launched. Its organisers hoped for £20,000 in the first fortnight114 but it began slowly, totalling £6,696 at New Year.115 It was to become known as the Governor-General’s appeal, from his advocacy, and drew some page 152 large contributions. Notably, T. H. Lowry116 of Hawke’s Bay repeated a family effort in the last war by giving £10,000 for a recreation hut in the main base camp overseas.117 This appeal eventually reached about £55,000.118

Meanwhile in mid-February 1940 another national appeal, known as the Fighting Services Welfare Fund or the ‘Army Huts appeal’, had begun, with the YMCA and the Salvation Army as collecting agents, aiming at £100,000. In the first month it collected £32,000;119 by May, with active collecting over, it had almost £90,000 with some returns to come;120 eventually it reached £104,000.121 In Nelson, Otago, Invercargill, Westland, Motueka and Whakatane there were no special campaigns for the appeal, contributions being made instead from provincial patriotic funds,122 thus presaging the methods of the future.

Statements on the purpose and methods of the patriotic scheme, its working with existing nation-wide social welfare organisations both as collecting and expending agencies, appeared in newspapers.123 A letter by the Governor-General, widely published in mid-March, asked the Prime Minister to remove from people’s minds apparent doubts that money would be sent overseas.124 Response however was still grudging in some places. In March collectors for the YMCA-Salvation Army appeal were getting ‘a rough spin’, some city business men refusing to see them, others putting them off with ‘a miserable five shillings’.125

Not surprisingly, there was rivalry between local and national collectors. Local workers, anxious to concentrate on the needs of the men in nearby camps and to build up resources for rehabilitating them afterwards, resented centralised appeals skimming off the cream of ready money in their districts. In April the Otago Council, for instance, complained about national encroachments. The YMCA and Salvation Army had had their appeal, the Red Cross and the Order of St John were about to have another, there were appeals for the Poles, for the Finns, for the Anglican Church; Otago might do well to follow other councils in forbidding collections by outside organisations.126 In May, a conference decided that there would be no more page 153 national appeals after the one just about to start; instead national fund purposes would be supported by contributions from the provincial councils.127

The Sick, Wounded and Distress Fund, run by the Red Cross and the Order of St John, was launched on 12 May, at about the same time as the blitzkrieg against the Low Countries and France. New Zealand, shaken into a new mood, gave with a will. The target of £250,000, larger than any so far, was passed in about five weeks; the final figure was £746,451.128 At the same time there was brisk giving for Spitfires, and for the relief of London, themes treated in later paragraphs.

In September 1940, a fresh start was made. Teething troubles had been worked out in the reluctant ‘phoney war’ period, and although the shock of the new war was subsiding, New Zealanders were geared to give steadily. National purposes were to be supplied by quotas, determined by population, from the provincial councils: these, and agents appointed by them, became the sole collectors. A new All-Purpose appeal for £1 million was launched, to provide a year’s comforts for the fighting forces, rehabilitation for servicemen and their dependents, and to relieve distress in Britain and other affected places. The 11 provincial councils each had to raise a given proportion of the £1 million: Auckland’s share was £250,000, Southland’s £25,000, Wellington’s £200,000, with about half to come from the metropolitan areas.129 Provincial councils in turn set targets for centres within their districts. There was much publicity, with statements of aims and channels, area quotas, progress reports and exhortation to ‘give till it hurts—it is the least you can do’.130 All the usual fund raising devices were used, from massive queen carnivals to children’s concerts. Effort focused on various aspects and sub-branches of the appeal at different times, to increase interest. Some districts far exceeded their quotas: Wanganui, for instance, doubled its, with £30,838.131 By August the target was exceeded by £150,000.132

It was not easy for patriotic campaigners to raise money. There was competition from the successive government loans raised to finance the war, which drew off patriotic fervour and paid modest interest. Some feeling persisted that the government should provide the jam on the bread of service life instead of leaving it to the public. page 154 For instance, some workers’ organisations in Dunedin explained that they opposed all appeals on principle; they had no quarrel with Patriotic Council members but they were ‘mutts’ to do the work of collecting; if they refused, the government would have to conscript the wealth of those who had it.133 In particular, it was felt that collection for rehabilitation was out of place, but to this the secretary-general answered that these reserves were intended not for general rehabilitation but for helping cases which no legislation could cover; even 25 years after the previous war men were being helped by funds raised in 1914–18.134

Expenditure objectives changed with the war. In the first year or so recreation huts were a large item; later prisoners-of-war became a major concern. By 1942 more than 6000 prisoners each needed a weekly parcel costing £1. Clothing, books and an inquiry bureau demanded further expenses. In that year Wellington’s quota of the nation-wide £1 million appeal was £106,000, of which 40.5 per cent was destined for the sick and wounded and prisoners-of-war; 21 per cent for relief of distress in Britain and elsewhere; 20 per cent for service comforts in New Zealand and overseas; 14.25 per cent for spiritual needs; 4.25 per cent for mobile canteens, administration expenses and contingencies.135

The collection targets set for 1942 proved to be too high for many areas,136 though others met and passed them. Dunedin, which in June decided that direct giving had failed and resorted to a queen carnival, run by Labour organisations, had by 22 August passed its quota of £73,500 by £1,500, being the first of the main centres to reach its goal.137 Te Aroha, by direct giving, over-subscribed its quota of £8,600; Opotoki, with a population largely Maori, exceeded its quota of £5,769 by £317.138 A conference in November, 1942 asked the government to pay for POW food parcels and War Cabinet agreed to do so, granting £340,000 for 1943.139 This was a considerable relief for the fund-raisers; prisoners-of-war were to exceed 8000.

As an example of allocation, in 1943 for the Wellington provincial area the target was £205,410, to be collected from 10 zones ranging from the Wellington metropolitan area, £100,651 (49 per page 155 cent), through to the Wairarapa, £26,703 (13 per cent) and Wanganui and Feilding £18,487 (9 per cent) each to Taihape and Marton £4,108 (2 per cent) each.140 This provincial total was allocated thus:141

National Patriotic Fund Board for overseas and work of national character £173,580
Provincial Patriotic Council’s normal requirements, including £22,000 for parcels, £9,000 for wool and money for entertainment, sports gear, service clubs, etc. £42,000
Welfare Fund £12,000
Contingencies £6,000
Outstanding accounts £15,942
less cash in hand at 30 Sep 1942 44,112

At the same time the Otago Provincial Council was bent on raising £70,000 for its National Patriotic Fund Board levy, being 8.7 per cent of the national requirement, and £45,000 for its soldiers’ parcels, wool and welfare.142

Money came in from direct donations by persons, firms, trade unions, employers’ associations, from collections and street appeals. It came from patriotic shops and stalls and from special sales of goods ranging from silver thimbles and old jewellery to paintings and books more or less rare.143 Many activities and entertainments, ranging from chamber music concerts to university revues, race meetings and public sports gave their profits, and school children raised money for soldiers’ parcels. Profits from some art unions were handed over.144 Considerable sums came from the salvage of scrap. The National Council for the Reclamation of Waste Materials, set up in June 1940, organised 110 volunteer committees which over the war years collected 27 250 tons of paper, 6014 tons of rubber, including 600 000 used tyres, 2170 tons of metal, mainly non-ferrous (such page 156 as toothpaste tubes) but including some cast iron, five million glass containers for re-use and 331 5001b of cleaning rags for the forces. In all, these collections brought £51,485 to the provincial patriotic councils.145

One way and another the organisers and collectors toiled on towards their recurring targets and the public gave, some regularly, some rarely. Annual gross expenditure of the central National Patriotic Fund Board, exclusive of the provincial councils, marked the rise in patriotic business: 1939–40, £233,737; 1940–1, £547,644; 1941–2, £1,097,944; 1942–3, £1,601,725; 1942–4, £1,857,281; 1944–5, £1,868,962; 1945–6, £995,684.146

The wish to help Britain directly was evidenced by the warmth of several mid-1940 drives: money for aeroplanes, for relief for London, clothing for refugees, homes for British children. Perhaps the most clear-cut was the campaign for fighting aircraft.

The idea, propagated by Lord Beaverbrook,147 British Minister for Aircraft Production, was that £5,000148 would ‘pay for’ a fighter and £20,000 for a bomber, and those who raised the money could name the aircraft. It caught the public imagination. Captains of industry and maharajahs gave very large sums, enough for several Spitfires; some bereaved devoted parents gave enough for one; city after city, town after town, colony after colony, started Spitfire Funds, and so did all manner of institutions and organisations—newspapers, factories, breweries, trades, sports and hobby clubs; there was even a fund from women called Dorothy.149

Of course all this was not realised by New Zealanders, particularly at the start, although the papers in June and July had several reports of substantial Empire gifts. The idea of a money gift was first put forward at the end of May 1940 when C. G. White,150 a director of the Union Steam Ship Company, recalling Sir Joseph Ward’s151 page 157 offer in 1909 of the battlecruiser HMS New Zealand, proposed some large gesture of loyalty, say £1 million in cash or kind. He was backed by Sir Charles Norwood,152 motor magnate and civic figure of Wellington, who said that such a sacrifice from New Zealand in her present financial state would carry weight;153 an old Scot wrote that thousands of exiles would gladly give a day’s pay to help the Motherland now and enclosed his £1, hoping that the New Zealand Herald would put forward his appeal and that it would rise, like Baden Powell’s154 scouts, to millions.155

This theme of a plain cash present was not taken up, at any level, but a week later the papers reported that the Nizam of Hyderabad had given a further £50,000 to maintain the RAF squadron bearing his name, for which he had paid £100,000 the previous October, and that the Straits Times at Singapore had opened a fund to raise £250,000 for a squadron of bombers.156 Some Evening Post correspondents, while doubting that New Zealand could equal the Nizam or the Straits Times, suggested a fund here through which New Zealanders could help to provide a squadron, one offering £10 in appreciation of the RAF heroes and of ‘Cobber’ Kain,157 a New Zealand RAF ace who had lately been killed in a crash.158 The Post stated that others had strongly advocated such a fund but that it was necessary first to obtain the sanction of the National Patriotic Fund Board. It is clear that the government was not at first wholly enthusiastic for a scheme that would bite into sterling funds, though it later accepted public opinion. Nothing grew visibly from these early Wellington suggestions. Fraser later said that the first proposal to launch an appeal for a fighter aircraft came to him in June, by telephone, from the Mayor of Taumarunui, who had deferred to Fraser’s view that it all required more careful consideration.159

However, the idea struck sturdy roots in Southland, where on 18 June the Southland Times printed a letter from a woman suggesting that patriotic funds, lately become substantial, should buy aircraft page 158 and tanks from the United States for Britain; such funds would soon be replaced and multiplied by New Zealanders just now awakening to their danger. A few days later another Southlander, G. A. Hamilton,160 wrote that winning the war was more urgent than rehabilitating soldiers or sending them socks. The war seemed likely to be mainly at sea and in the air, therefore let some of the patriotic funds buy aircraft and let New Zealanders fly them. ‘If our province could purchase even one, and call it Southland, no doubt one of our Southland pilots would take great pride in it and his achievements would become memories for us all’; other provinces might follow, and ‘should final victory be assisted by the gift of 1000 planes from New Zealand the cost would be cheap indeed.’ He would contribute £100 for a start;161 he made it £500 a few days later. A flood of supporting letters appeared, meetings were held, and a special committee, aiming at £25,000 to buy two Spitfires, sought government permission.162 This was granted by 12 July, the Prime Minister praising the splendid patriotic spirit while denying that such subscriptions would actually increase Britain’s air strength, as all Empire factories were already working at full capacity. He declared the aircraft fund a proper patriotic purpose under the Regulations, and to avoid conflicting appeals advised the provincial patriotic councils to take up the various proposals being made, co-opting those taking the initiative in the affair.163

The urge to help an immediate fighting purpose, the magnificent RAF men in their Spitfires, was breaking out all over the country. On 3 July the Kauri district of Whangarei, rivalling Southland’s lead and possibly ignorant of it, raised £161 in a stock drive, making £250 to date, the nucleus of a fund for a bomber to be flown by a Kauri airman.164 The Auckland Chamber of Commerce on 4 July proposed £1 million from sterling funds, or alternatively two or three free cargoes, to be used for buying aeroplanes.165 The Christchurch RSA suggested that the NZRSA should present a fighter named after Cobber Kain.166 During August Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki, Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and many other centres started page 159 funds. At a smoke concert of the New Zealand Dairy Co-operative, Hamilton, the proposal to buy an aircraft produced £500 in five minutes, and more than £6,000 in the following fortnight.167 On 29 August the Meat Producers Board decided to give £30,000 of its accumulated £65,000 in appreciation of the RAF, and by 3 September the British government’s thanks for this gift were published.168 The Women’s Division of the Farmers’ Union announced their plans to buy a £20,000 bomber.169

There were critics. The newspaper Truth on 7 August noted with misgiving Invercargill’s hopes that the scheme would spread and produce £1 million for Britain’s aircraft. New Zealand’s London funds had been increased with difficulty in the last two years, the war had added problems, and Southland’s £20,000 could not seriously affect the funds. If the appeal were to sweep the country it might, said Truth, create troubles and its supporters might regret the money lost to New Zealand’s own soldiers abroad. A forthright expression of hostility came from the Wellington Provincial Patriotic Council, which said that the appeal was exploiting the patriotic feelings of New Zealanders and depleting sterling funds to no good purpose while local appeals were being neglected.170 An NZRSA spokeman thought it useless and a drain on general funds.171 The president of the New Zealand Workers Union at Waitara was not enthusiastic about Spitfires, thinking that free meat and cheese would be better for Britain, while New Zealand, being in greater danger than ever before, needed to concentrate on home defence.172

The Minister of Finance checked any wildness by announcing on 17 August that only £100,000 would be remitted to the British government. Echoing Fraser, he warned that this sum would not, despite the splendid spirit behind it, provide any additional aeroplanes, while using money otherwise available for war expenditure overseas. The appeal would close on 30 September and any surplus would go towards New Zealand’s share in the Empire Air Training Scheme.173

This curb caused some protest: for instance the Mayor of Palmerston North telegraphed asking Nash to review his decision and devote the whole amount to the purpose for which it was given.174 page 160 A few published letters asked, should we not help to win the war now rather than accumulate funds to be used when the war was won for us by others, for what would it profit to have sterling in London if we lost London?175 A few editorials defended the idea of sharing in the cost of the air war, of taking part of the financial burden from British shoulders.176

Support for the Spitfire fund was lively and widespread. Newspapers collected, publishing subscriptions: some were large—the Evening Post had an anonymous gift of £5,000–but many were small amounts, like ‘Hostel girls, £2; Kelburn Croquet Club, £16.5s; Mum, Petone, £1.’177 Mayors, Rotary clubs and local patriotic committees used all the numerous devices of the New Zealand community bent on raising money: 16 farmers on Waiheke Island sold 32 cattle raising £160;178 sports clubs donated, there were raffles, entertainments, sales. New Zealand Herald readers gave more than £33,000 between 17 August and 12 September. The appeal, except in Otago, closed on 30 September. Otago, preoccupied until November with a long-planned Queen Carnival for other patriotic funds, then began its Spitfire Fund, which closed on the following 1 February with £10,587.

Meanwhile on 5 December it was announced that the aircraft fund from the provinces (excluding Otago) then totalled £102,940, and some special sums—£7,500 from the New Zealand Co-operative Dairy Company, £5,000 from the Women’s Division of the Farmer’s Union, £30,000 from the Meat Producers’ Board and £158 from Niue Island—gave in all £145,600. Further, the government had decided to give the whole amount to the purchase of 23 fighter aircraft, attributed and named thus: North Auckland, 1; Auckland, 5; Waikato, 1; Taranaki, 1; Hawke’s Bay, 2; Wellington, 3; Marlborough–Westland–Nelson, 1; Canterbury, 2; Southland, 3; New Zealand, 3; Country Women of New Zealand, 1.179 It was not explained why £45,000 more than the limit fixed by Nash in August was being handed over. Possibly complaints about the government not allowing money subscribed for special purposes to leave the country may have been influential. For instance, the Hawke’s Bay Patriotic Council wanted assurance that surpluses from appeals would not go into the Consolidated Fund or be used for government purposes; one mayor stated that he had not opened a fighter aircraft page 161 appeal because he believed that the money was going into the Consolidated Fund, not into Spitfires.180 TheObserver on 2 October said ‘the surplus is being brazenly collared by the government to help with its own defence organisation’.

Lord Beaverbrook responded gratifyingly, speaking for the whole British nation, and for freedom-lovers every land: ‘Our hearts are uplifted, our spirits fortified, by this magnificent gesture of support. You enable us to strike even harder blows at the evil forces of Nazi and Fascist aggression, bringing nearer the day when the hosts of Hitler and his Italian jackal will forever bite the dust. …’181

Early in March the last instalment of £11,160, largely from Otago, was sent to Britain, making a total of £156,776 in New Zealand currency.182 This was applauded in the BBC series ‘London Calling’, which said that the money would buy a squadron of 25 Spitfires, New Zealand’s own, flown and serviced by New Zealanders and bearing the names listed earlier, plus two called ‘Otago’.183 In fact, 485 (New Zealand) Squadron RAF had been established in March and equipped with Spitfires: at the start of May were published the names of 20 pilots picked to fly these aircraft,184 and a month later came news of the squadron’s first kill, by its leader, M. W. B. Knight,185 of Dannevirke.186 It was not until the Squadron was re-equipped in 1942 with an improved type of Spitfire that the fighters could be regarded as being provided by New Zealand.187

The Spitfire Fund was not the only exotic appeal to flourish in the dark days of 1940. The Lord Mayor of London’s appeal for help, answered by the British public and by Commonwealth countries, drew both clothes and cash from New Zealand. The Red Cross Society had earlier made known the plight of refugees in Poland, Finland, Norway, and in the first nine months of the war had sent off more than 300 cases of clothing, mainly for women and children.188 In June, when thousands of refugees were pouring into Britain, Lady Galway launched her Guild to collect, repair and pack clothes for them, and soon in every town mayoresses headed branches page 162 of the Guild.189 As the Battle of Britain developed in August, to the refugees from Europe were added thousands of bombed-out British people, homeless, bereft of possessions. The Guild and the Red Cross redoubled their efforts; postmen, Boy Scouts and other volunteers collected clothing, women sewed and sorted and tons of clothes were shipped away.190

The National Patriotic Fund Board in September 1940 voted £100,000 to London relief, £10,000 to come from the over-subscribed Sick, Wounded and Distress appeal, and the government immediately sanctioned the whole transmission, confident that the payout would soon be made good. Response was wide and strong, speedily outstripping area quotas. Newspapers ran collections, publishing contributors’ names and stirring articles: thus the Auckland Star of 14 September wrote of the fiendish attack by the soulless air force that Hitler and his scum had launched on the afflicted people of London, whose fortitude and endurance were as much a part of the fight for deliverance from serfdom as were the magnificent courage and self sacrifice of the fighting men. The Star’s, appeal in two weeks brought in £22,628191 and Auckland province gave more than £30,000, though its quota was only £8,000. For Wellington province the quota was £5,075, but by 10 October £11,242 had been paid in.192 There was strong feeling that money given for this purpose should not be diverted to any other,193 so it was decided to keep the surplus apart and remit it later for the relief of other bombed British towns as well as London.194 Another £100,000 was sent in June 1941.195 Over the years, often through the international Red Cross, New Zealand’s national patriotic funds contributed goods and money to the relief of distress in many countries. By March 1943, amounts exceeding £283,000 had been sent: £7,000 to much-bombed Malta, £2,500 to Belgium, £6,726 to France, £28,750 to Russia, £10,500 to Greece, £622 to Norway, £20,377 to Poland and £206,834 to London.196

Children from London and other centres likely to be bombed had been partially evacuated in the early days of the war. When the expected bombing did not happen many returned, but as danger page 163 loomed higher they were again sent forth to remoter areas of England and Scotland. Some parents privately sent their children to places thought safe in England, or abroad, many going to Canada and the United States. The idea was widespread of large numbers of children going overseas, for safety and decent, unafraid living, leaving Britain more free to concentrate on fighting.

In New Zealand it was brought forward by T. W. Hercock,197 Mayor of Napier, which city still remembered that other centres had helped by taking in its women and children when it was wrecked by earthquake in 1931. At the end of May, Hercock telegraphed 50 other mayors, asking them to petition the government to offer hospitality and, if necessary, permanent adoption in private homes to 25 000 British children: there was likely to be a food shortage in Britain, and New Zealand could offer happier conditions, each district sharing in the task, with government help in organising and making arrangements with Britain. The suggestion had already been voiced in mid-May by W. E. Barnard, MP for Napier, at a Democratic Labour meeting in Wellington.198 Hercock explained that C. Williams199 of Napier had been working on the idea for eight months.200

Williams had proposed it to the government soon after the outbreak of war but, as he later wrote, ‘the people of Britain were not ready to part with their children, and we here were not ready to receive them.’201 The government then was dubious, but learned through the High Commissioner in London that a Children’s Overseas Reception Committee had been set up, chaired by Geoffrey Shakespeare,202 the Under-Secretary for the Dominions, to inquire into and accept such offers from the Dominions and the United States.203

In June 1940, public response was warm and on the 22nd the New Zealand government offered to take, in the first instance, 2500 children, adding that the maximum limit would be the country’s ability to provide for them. Meanwhile as the threat grew, British parents by 5 July applied to send 200 000 children abroad; for about 20 000 New Zealand was preferred,204 although no authority, page 164 British or overseas, had any intention of mass emigration, only of a safe refuge for a limited number on a well-ordered plan.205

The British committee, which alone selected the children, aimed to send a cross-section of the community. Where possible, parents should pay 6s to 9s or more a week, according to their means, towards the cost of organisation and fares, but no child would be excluded solely on account of its parents’ inability to pay. The New Zealand government refused any of this money for the foster parents, who would maintain the children as part of their effort to assist Britain. The children should be healthy, between 5 and 16 years, and would stay only for the duration of the war. Mothers would not come with them,206 except for approved widows of servicemen of this war who would promise to take jobs in New Zealand.

In New Zealand, organisation was undertaken by the Child Welfare branch of the Education Department and the Local Government branch of the Department of Internal Affairs, working through local committees. On 25 June it was announced that for this purpose there were 26 zones in the country, in each of which one local authority (ie, city, borough or county council) was selected as the zone authority, which would appoint a zone committee of, say, the mayor, a Child Welfare officer, ministers of religion, and social workers. It would also arrange for the setting up of similar local committees within its area. Would-be foster parents applied to these committees, which had the exacting task of deciding whether or not they were suitable. Tactful vigilance was needed to ensure that there was no intention of exploiting the children, that the homes were of good average standard, handy to schools and not too crowded, that the foster parents were not too elderly and that they could adequately maintain their guests—for sometimes enthusiasm outran means. At the outset it was assumed that ministers of religion could readily advise on these points but, as a Timaru clergyman pointed out, quite a lot of applicants were not known to any ministers, and he doubted if his brethren were fitted to be investigation officers judging homes on one visit.207 Inevitably a good deal of this responsibility fell on the Child Welfare branch. The local lists of approved homes were sent to the zone committees and thence, summarised, to Internal Affairs which, with the Education Department, decided on quotas to districts. When the children arrived, the zone committees settled who would go to which home. In these committees, Child Welfare officers had decisive roles, being in effect the final guardians of every page 165 child guest, reporting on each once a term. It was hoped that the local committees would also maintain contact with them.

A suggestion from the Mayor of Sydney to Hercock that French and other allied children, perhaps with their mothers, should be included, as they needed help more desperately than did British children at the moment, was not taken up: New Zealanders were wary of foreigners.208 At first it was intended to keep children for each area together for a few days while they became acquainted with their new environment and with their foster-parents. Some obvious difficulties were plainly voiced by the Whangarei zone committee: it would lead to ‘picking and choosing’, bad feeling and uncertainty, while one man likened it to ‘herding them in a compound in which people picked their slaves’.209 This arrangement was changed, the children going direct from railway stations to homes.

Many factors were weighed in making allocations. Members of families were to be kept together as much as possible; friends should be able to attend the same school; the children should go to families of their own religion and preferably of their parents’ occupational background, while their age and sex should fit in with the other children in the family. Some of these things could be known only when the children actually arrived and, as security forbade advance notice of their arrival, final allocations had to be quickly made.

Late in June it was known that the British authorities desired that children who had friends or relatives wanting them in New Zealand should go to them rather than to strangers.210 Relatives wrote to Internal Affairs asking for particular children and, through the High Commissioner in London, the parents were asked if they wished to send these children to them. The Department was flooded with applications, 1000 within three days.211 It was not thought necessary to inspect homes in these cases, as the parents themselves would consent. Actually, many parents of these ‘nominated’ children did not wish them to come to New Zealand. There were also applications from England for children to go to friends or relatives, some of whom could not receive them.

On 12 July, after the loss off Ireland of the Andora Star, drowning 1100 interned aliens and their guards on their way to Canada, the British government announced that sending children overseas must be postponed until naval escorts could be provided. Further, Churchill admitted: ‘It was not foreseen that the mild countenance given to the policy would lead to a movement of such dimensions, or that page 166 a crop of alarmist and depressing rumours would follow at its tail.’ Any large-scale exodus was most undesirable and, in view of the relative dangers between going and staying, he did not think that the military situation required or justified it.212 In New Zealand it was held that the children would still come, perhaps several hundred at a time, under convoy. Preparations for securing the maximum number of approved homes went ahead, and at the end of August the government could report that there was accommodation for 10 000 children: 1844 families had nominated 3564 children, and 5800 other homes would welcome 6500 strangers.213 It was decided that foster-children would rate as family members for income-tax purposes, but not for assessing military service liability; in approved cases family benefit would be paid; the New Zealand Dental Association offered free treatment, where clinic and hospital services did not suffice; hospitals would give out-patient treatment free to British children.

There was genuine zest to help Britain and to comfort children whose homes were or might soon become heaps of rubble. People who could not be soldiers, whose work did not involve them in the war, felt that here there was something they could do, simultaneously satisfying both their kindly and their loyal impulses, while for once remoteness from the gunfire made New Zealand more effective. Response was particularly strong in some country districts; at Morrinsville, for instance, 59 families offered to take in 70 children.214 Some people whose own children were grown up turned warmly to the idea of a new little one, or two; some wanted a companion for only or lonely children; some felt that they could cheerfully cope with another young nipper anyway. There were few misgivings: when a doubtful zone member wondered about slums and the influence of a young Bill Sykes on other children, he was told ‘they are British children and that is all that matters’, that people with such worries should not concern themselves with the scheme, and that a good home might influence young Bill Sykes.215 Some districts expressed a strong preference for girls.216 Perhaps this was due to fear of young Bill Sykeses, or to belief that girls would be gentler, more manageable than boys; perhaps to feeling that girls especially should be protected from war.217

page 167

Some wanted to adopt children permanently,218 dreading to lose them after a few years, and forgetting that as yet, except in orphanages, there were very few British children who had lost both parents. A few newspapers held that ‘orphans are best’, for they would remain as citizens, compensating for ‘the sluggish birthrate’.219 Only one or two citizens publicly remarked on the keenness to adopt British orphans while local institutions held plenty of unsought New Zealand children.220 There were proposals for a national patriotic fund devoted to British children, for assistance with clothing through the Lady Galway Guild, and there were offers of some large houses as special homes where children might be kept together and where people who were unable to take a child could contribute to their upkeep.221

The term, ‘Little Britons’, emanating from Wellington,222 was warmly and widely used to avoid ‘refugee children’ and ‘child evacuees’, which were unpleasant and inaccurate. Government departments, however, fearing that the habit of contracting official designations might reduce Little Britons to LBs, ‘which suggests possible variants of an offensive character’, stuck firmly to ‘British children’.223

At last, on 27 September 1940, a ship brought 89 Scottish children to Wellington. They were welcomed by all the important people, the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the Mayor, the British High Commissioner, heads of departments. They were photographed, they were declared—and looked—a very fine lot. Thirty-one were girls. Relatives claimed 35; of the rest, 10 went to Masterton, 10 to Palmerston North, 10 to Lower Hutt and 24 to Wellington. They were billeted in children’s homes for a day or two while individual allocations were made by the local committees, assisted by the escorts of the ship journey.224

A week later, a further 113 children arrived at Wellington from all over England, and were similarly welcomed. Of this party, 51 were girls.225 Sixty-eight children went to relatives scattered over New Zealand and from the rest, four were allocated to Wellington, 10 to Dunedin, 15 to Christchurch and 16 went to Auckland, where homes were selected by ballot from the hundreds available.226

page 168

On 23 September, it was reported that from a Canada-bound ship, City of Benares, sunk by a U-boat in bad weather, 294 people had been lost, including 83 children. On 2 October, the British government announced that with winter gales and heavy seas in the Atlantic it would not take the responsibility of sending any more children abroad in the official scheme at present; so far, 2650 had gone under this scheme, while many others had gone privately.227 New Zealand’s High Commissioner in London explained further that the Admiralty was reluctant to provide the special escorts needed by child-carrying ships. Since the sinking of the City of Benares, another ship had actually embarked children, but she was recalled and the children went back to their homes.228

It was announced on 11 October that with approved homes listed for 10 000 children, no further offers would be accepted until the scheme was re-opened.229 It had not been re-opened before Japan’s entry to the war totally precluded it. Indeed, anxious British parents were assured that while city populations were not fleeing inland ahead of attack, country areas were preparing to receive them if necessary, while trenches and shelters were being prepared in school grounds.230

Meanwhile Child Welfare officers learned that their care was needed by nominated children—those in homes approved by their parents—no less than by those sent to strangers, and decided that in future such homes would also be inspected. By December 1940 about 40 of the total 202 children had been transferred to different homes, for various reasons—such as expense, or relatives asking for them after arrival; a very few for objections to the conduct of the children, and a few because certain homes, though satisfactory in other respects, proved unsuitable for particular children. In 1943–4 there were 41 more transfers, mainly for ill-health in foster parents or to facilitate employment or extended education for the children.231

Guardianship of all the children was vested in the Superintendent of Child Welfare, who kept in touch with his charges both directly and through district officers who regularly visited both schools and foster-parents. Apart from the death of one 16-year-old girl reported in 1944–5,232 annual departmental reports told of continuing good health, buttressed by free attention from doctors and dentists. In page 169 general, the children adapted happily to their new situations and did well at school. ‘On the whole, their educational attainment is very satisfactory, and there are a few who show exceptional ability’, wrote the Superintendent in 1944.233

During 1941 a few left school to take up approved positions, but all were encouraged to pursue education as far as possible. By 1945, about 12 of the older boys and girls had returned to Britain, eight to join the forces. Only 38 children were still in primary schools, mainly in the upper classes, though there were still half a dozen in Standards II and III; 71 were in post-primary schools, and in all 32 had passed the University Entrance examination. Of the 82 who had left school, eight were full-time students at university, seven were at teachers’ training colleges, three of them already probationary teachers; 14 boys were farming, 10 were in various engineering jobs, seven girls were nursing, one boy was sign-writing, two were in the New Zealand Navy, about 22 boys and girls were in banks, insurance offices, the Public Service and other office work, and the rest were in shops, domestic work or dressmaking; ‘quite a few’ were attending night classes in various subjects and eight were at university part-time.234

From the start it was assumed that the children would return to Britain, and they were encouraged to keep in touch with their parents. A cable company arranged for each child once a month to send a free cable of a pre-arranged text to the parents,235 and full use was made of this concession.236 Also, there were arrangements for parents to broadcast messages to their children at regular hours, the children being advised by letter a few days ahead in each case.237 As soon as fighting ceased 145 children returned, in three main groups, but in March 1946 46 were still in New Zealand, staying on to finish examination courses, or until their parents could come and join them. A few had declared that they would remain regardless of their parents.238

In July 1940, when the idea of Britain becoming an island fortress, with children evacuated to remote areas or overseas, was at its height, parents of nearly 200 000 children applied for them to be fostered overseas. Commonwealth governments had by then offered to take 20 000 children, while indicating that this figure could be page 170 greatly increased.239 As stated above, New Zealand at the end of August had homes listed ready to take 10 000 children. In the event just over 200 came: only they themselves could really judge the success of the enterprise, but it seems clear that it was attended with much sustained goodwill.

1 Evening Post, 25 May 40, p. 13

2 Taranaki Daily News, 30 May 40, p. 9

3 Dominion, 12 Jun 40, p. 3

4 Press, 4 Jun 40, p. 8

5 NZ Herald, 25 May 40, p. 10

6 Otago Daily Times, 31 May 40, p. 6

7 Ibid., 16 Jul 40, p. 8

8 Press, 13 May 40. p. 15; Auckland Star, 12 Jun 40, p. 11

9 Southland Times, 2 Jul 40, p. 6

10 Evening Post, 11 Jun 40, p. 6

11 Press, 11 Jun 40, p. 8

12 NZ Herald, 5, 6 Sep 40, pp. 10, 6; Evening Post, 10 Sep 40, p. 8. The Industrial Emergency Council consisted of nine representatives of employers and nine of Labour, chosen and chaired by the Minister of Labour. They were selected not as representing any special sector or trades but for general ability in the industrial field. Hare, A. E. C., Labour in New Zealand1942, p. 25

13 NZ Herald, 17 Jul 40, p. 10

14 Ibid., 19 Sep, 16 Oct 40, pp. 11, 10; Evening Post, 18 Sep 40, p. 5

15 In February 1941 the Auckland Metal Workers Union brought a court action against the firm for a deliberate breach of the award, which if approved ‘would mean revolutionary changes in the industrial sphere’. The magistrate, noting that the firm had desisted when told to, held that the breach was excusable and dismissed the case; the Arbitration Court, on appeal, upheld his decision. NZ Herald, 1 Mar, 5 Nov 41, pp. 11, 9

16 NZPD, vol 258, p. 509

17 Press, 25 Jul 40, p. 8

18 See p. 94

19 Press, 11, 13, 15 Jul 40, pp. 6, 10, 6

20 Evening Post, 4 Sep 40, p. 8

21 Press, 15 Jun 40, pp. 17, 16

22 Ibid., 13 Jun 40, p. 13, also 11 Jun 40, p. 6; Evening Post, 22, 23 Aug 40, pp. 11, 8

23 Evening Post, 5 Jun 40, p. 6

24 Press, 7 Jun 40, p., 8

25 See Baker, pp. 447–8, 455–6

26 Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives (hereinafter A to J) 1941, H–ll, p. 11

27 NZ Herald, 21 Mar 41, p. 6, also 3O May 40, p. 9; Press, 12 Jun 40, p. 6; A to J 1941, C–2, p. 5, C–2A, pp. 1, 3, 5

28 Evening Post, 30 Mar 40, p. 11; Southland Times, 14 May 40, p. 5; Palmerston NorthTimes, 14 May 40, p. 6; NZ Financial Times, Jun 40, p. 289

29 Baker, p. 200

30 Press, 7 Dec 40, p. 8

31 Southland Times, 10 Jun 40, p. 4; see p. 158, fn 160

32 NZ Herald, 18 Jul, 13 Aug 40, pp. 11, 8

33 Ibid., 14 Sep 40, p. 12

34 Akaroa Mail, 25 Jun 40

35 Palmerston NorthTimes, 7 Ang 40, p. 6

36 Press, 3 Jul 40, p. 6

37 NZ Herald, 5 Jul 40, p. 9

38 eg, Evening Post, 25, 28 May; Southland Times, 11 Jun; Otago Daily Times, 25 Jul; NZ Herald, 22, 24, 25, 27 Jul, 2, 3, 6 Aug 40

39 NZ Herald, 6 Sep 40, p. 6

40 Ibid., 5 Jul 40, p. 9

41 eg, to the Whakatane Red Cross, ibid., 14 Sep 40, p. 12

42 Ibid., 6 Aug 40, p. 11

43 Wanganui Herald, 3 Sep 40, p. 2; NZ Herald, 26 Oct 40, p. 10

44 Southland Times, 24 Aug 40, p. 11

45 Maher, James Joseph (1889–1964): MP (Nat) Otaki 1946–60; chmn Wgtn Dairy Farmers’ Co-op Assn for many years

46 Evening Post, 19 Oct 40, p. 11

47 Some bodies which discussed these proposals sometimes inconclusively: Auckland and Dunedin Councils of Primary Production, Otago Daily Times, 21, 23 May 40, pp. 6, 8; Southern Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Union, NZ Herald, 17 May 40, p. 9; Mayor of Hastings, Hawke’s Bay Daily Mail, 23 May 40, p. 8; Canty District Pig Council, Press, 8 Jun 40, p. 10; North Otago Farmers Union, ibid., 22 Jun 40, p. 7; Dannevirke Council of Primary Production, Palmerston North Times, 24 Jun 40, p. 2; Rangitikei and Makirikiri Farmers’ Unions, Wanganui Herald, 24 Jun, 1 Jul 40, pp. 6, 6; Bay of Islands and Hokianga farmers, NZ Herald, 4 Jul 40, p. 3; Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Union, Dominion, 28 Jun 40, p. 5, NZ Herald, 22 Jul 40; One Tree Hill Borough Council, NZ Herald, 9 Aug 40, p. 6; Awahuri Co-operative Dairy Co, Palmerston North Times, 29 Aug 40, p. 6

48 Press,8 Jun 40, p. 10

49 Palmerston NorthTimes, 16 Aug 40, p. 6

50 Point Blank, 15 Apr 40, p. 9

51 Ibid., 15 Jun 40, p. 47

52 Ibid., p. 9

53 Evening Post, 16 Jul 40, p. 5. Under the Rural Housing Act 1939, to help farmers build for their workers, county councils would lend £500 at 3½ per cent, repayable over 25 years at 11s 8d a week. Further, in June 1940 the government offered a 10 per cent subsidy on such loans, so that a £600 house could be built for £540. Also, through the Public Works Department, houses of three rooms, plus a bathroom-wash house, could be obtained for 5s weekly, or one-man huts for 2s. Point Blank, 15 Aug 40. p. 7

54 Evening Post, 9 Aug 40, p. 6

55 Otago Daily Times, 18 Jun 40, p. 6

56 Ibid., 12 Jun 40, p. 8; Evening Post, 7 Feb 40, p. 5

57 See Baker, pp. 216–18; cf. p. 736

58 Point Blank, 15 Jul 40, p. 5

59 1 bushel barley = 501b = 22.7 kg

60 Palmerston NorthTimes, 14 Aug 40, p. 12

61 Hawke’s Bay Daily Mail, 8 Jul 40, p. 5

62 Wanganui Herald, 10 Sep 40, p. 6

63 Evening Post, 22 Jun 40, p. 7

64 Palmerston NorthTimes, 24 Jun 40, p. 2

65 Auckland Star, 7 Aug 40, p. 10; also Press, 24 Sep 40, p. 6

66 Palmerston NorthTimes, 10, 23 Jul, 20 Aug 40, pp. 2, 6, 6; Press. 22 Apr 41, p. 4; Auckland Star, 5 Feb 43, p. 2

67 Gisborne Herald, 25 May 40, p. 12

68 Press, 17 Jul 40, p. 8

69 Truth, 10 Jul 40, p. 1

70 Evening Post, 6 May 40, p. 6; NZ Herald, 29 May 40, p. 10

71 NZ Herald, 15 Oct 40, p. 8

72 eg, Evening Post, 19 Jun 40, p. 6

73 Wanganui Herald, 23 May 40, p. 8; Auckland Star, 6 Jun 40, p. 5, see also chaps 16, 21

74 Auckland Star, 8 Jun 40, p. 10

75 Otago Daily Times, 17 Apr 40, p. 4

76 Wanganui Herald, 19 Sep 40, p. 6

77 Taranaki Daily News, 30 Aug 40, p. 6

78 Evening Post, 13 Jun 40, p. 8

79 Auckland Star, 27 May 40, p. 9

80 Evening Post, 13 Jul 40, p. 9

81 NZ Herald, 6 Jul 40, p. 13

82 Ibid., 24 May 40, p. 8

83 Ibid., 6 Jul 40, p. 13

84 Southland Times, 13 Jul 40, p. 6; Evening Post, 5 Apr 41, p. 11

85 Evening Post, 21 Mar, 27 Apr, 4 Jun 40, pp. 11, 7, 9

86 Auckland Star, 18 Jun 40, p. 3

87 Evening Post, 24 Jun, 3 Jul 40. pp. 9, 9

88 Ibid., 3 Aug, 22 Nov 40, pp. 10, 9

89 Ibid., 12 Jul 40. p. 9

90 Ibid., 6 Jul 40, p. 7

91 Ibid., 22 Jun 40, p. 10

92 Patea and Waverley Press, 3 Jun 40

93 Imperial Hotel, Auckland, Auckland Star, 15 Jun 40, p. 8; J. B. Ball, Ltd, Auckland, Press, 15 Jun 40, p. 10; W. Branson of Ngongotaha, ibid., 17 Jun 40, p. 6; and the Hotel Cargen was given to the Auckland Hospital Board as a nurses’ hostel for the duration. Auckland Star, 7, 13 Jun 40, pp. 9, 9

94 Evening Post, 10 Jun 40, p. 11; see p. 151

95 Evening Post, 20 Jun 40, p. 9

96 Ibid., 26 Jun 40, p. 9

97 Press, 30 May 40, p. 6

98 From May 1942 until the end of the war national security tax increased to 1s 6d in the pound.

99 Press, 28 Jun, 17 Jul 40, pp. 5, 8

100 Baker, p. 260. War finance is lucidly discussed by Baker, pp. 251–77

101 Ibid., pp. 265–6

102 Ibid., p. 268

103 Ibid., p. 260

104 There were nearly 1000 different patriotic funds in existence in 1918. NZ Observer, 21 Sep 39, p. 7

105 Press, 23 Feb 40, p, 12

106 NZ Herald, 6. 13 Feb 40, pp. 9, 10

107 Ibid., 4 Jan 40, p. 6

108 As described below, p. 151, a mid-December appeal had yielded less than £7,000 in an initial period when £20,000 was expected.

109 NZ Herald, 3 Jan 40

110 Press, 13 Jan 40, p. 12

111 Moncton-Arundell, Lord George Vere Arundell, 8th Viscount Galway, GCMG, DSO, QBE, PC (1882–1943): Gov Gen NZ 1935–41

112 NZ Herald, 2 Jan 40, p. 9

113 Evening Post, 9 Dec 39, p. 15

114 Ibid., 14 Dec 39, p. 11

115 Press, 4 Jan 40, p. 6. This sum excluded an unknown amount from a postal seals campaign.

116 Lowry, Thomas Henry (d 1944 aet 79): sheepfarmer, Okawa

117 NZ Herald, 29 Jan 40, p. 8

118 A to J1941, H–22A, p. 2

119 Press, 16 Mar 40, p. 14

120 Gisborne Herald, 21 May 40, p. 4

121 A to J1941, H–22A, p. 2

122 Evening Post, 23 Mar 40, p. 12

123 NZ Herald, 21 Feb 40, p. 10; Press, 23 Feb 40, p. 12

124 Press, 15 Mar 40, p. 10

125 Ibid., 12 Mar 40, p. 10

126 Otago Daily Times, 10 Apr 40, p. 8

127 Evening Post, 11 May 40, p. 14

128 A to J1941, H–22A, p. 2

129 Evening Post, 16 Oct 40, p. 8; Press, 27 Feb 41, p. 8

130 eg, Evening Post, 19, 20 Sep, 16, 21 Oct 40, pp. 13, 9, 8, 13

131 Ibid., 23 Jul 41, p. 9

132 Press, 15 Aug 41, p. 10

133 Otago Daily Times, 14 Apr 42, p. 4

134 Evening Post, 14, 15 Apr 43, pp. 4, 4

135 Ibid., 4 May 42, p. 6

136 Ibid., 5 Mar, 14 Apr 43, pp. 5, 4

137 NZ Herald, 23 Jun 42, p. 4; Otaga Daily Times, 24 Aug 42, p. 2

138 NZ Herald, 19 Dec 42, p. 8, 8 Jan 43, p. 2

139 Evening Post, 19 Nov 42, p. 3, 20 Jan 43, p. 4

140 Dominion, 2 Mar 43, p. 4

141 Ibid., 6 Mar 43, p. 4

142 Evening Star, 1 Feb 43

143 Late in 1942 donated books, paintings, prints, coins etc were auctioned at Dunedin, Auckland and Wellington in the Churchill Auctions, so called because a leading item Was a book entitled Divi Britannici (1675) written by an ancestor of Churchill and autographed by both Churchill and Fraser. It sold for £350 and was then given to the Wellington Public Library. These sales realised £3,000 in all; for an example of prices, a fine copy of The New Zealanders by G. F. Angas (1847) fetched £46. Evening Post, 5, 6, 7 Nov 42, pp. 3. 4, 8

144 Ibid., 13 Aug 43, p. 4

145 Ibid., 20 Feb 46, p. 11

146 A to J1947, H–22A, p. 1

147 Aitken, Hon William Maxwell, Kt(’ll); 1st Baron of Beaverbrook, New Brunswick and Cherkley, Surrey (’16) (1879–1964): b Canada; MP (UK) 1910–16; Min Information 1918, Aircraft Production 1940–1, of State 1941, Supply 1941–2; Lord Privy Seal 1942–5

148 Or £6,250 in New Zealand currency. Nash, Evening Post, 23 Aug 40

149 Turner, E. S., The Phoney War on the Home Front, pp. 291–2

150 White, Charles Gilbert, OBE(’46) (1880–1966): Dir Union Airways, TEAL; chmn Dom Exec Joint Council St John & Red Cross 4 years during WWII

151 Ward, Rt Hon Sir Joseph, KCMG(’30), PC (1856–1930): b Aust, to NZ 1859; MP (Lib) 1890–1919, 1925–30; Colonial Treasurer 1893–7, establishing State Advances office 1894; various portfolios 1897 ff, introducing universal penny postage 1901; PM 1906–11, 1928–30, Deputy PM, Min Finance, National govt 1915–19

152 Norwood, Sir Charles, Kt(’37) (1871–1966): b Aust, to NZ 1897; Mayor Wgtn 1925–7

153 NZ Herald, 23, 24 May 40, pp. 10, 6

154 Baden Powell, Roberr Stephenson Smythe, 1st Baron Baden-Powell (1857–1941): British army officer; service India, Afghanistan, Ashanti, Matabeleland (including Mafeking); founded Boy Scout Movement 1908 and with sister Agnes, Girl Guides

155 NZ Herald, 24 May 40, p. 11. The Herald paid the £1 into the National Patriotic Fund.

156 Ibid., 1 Jun 40, p. 13; Evening Post, 31 May 40, p. 8

157 Kain, Flying Officer Edgar James, DFC (1918–40): b Hastings; joined RAF 1937; killed in flying accident 1940; acclaimed Empire’s first air ace, credited with destruction of at least 14 enemy aircraft in France, probably more

158 Evening Post, 6, 10 Jun 40, pp. 10, 8

159 NZ Herald, 6 Sep 40, p. 6

160 Hamilton, George Alexander (d 1971aet 83): Southland farmer; Pres Southland Fed Farmers 1935–7; brother of Adam Hamilton

161 Southland Times, 25 Jun 40, p. 3

162 Ibid., 4 Jul 40, p. 8; the cost of two Spitfires was reckoned at £21,000 (Otago Daily Times, 20 Aug 40, p. 6); Southland raised this in eight weeks; ibid., 7 Sep 40, p. 4. According to information supplied from London in 1977 a Spitfire cost £UK5,000, ie, £NZ6,250, in 1940.

163 Evening Post, 12 Jul 40, p. 9

164 Press, 5 Jul 40, p. 14; NZ Herald, 6 Jul 40, p. 10

165 Press, 5 Jul 40, p. 14

166 Ibid., 16 Jul 40, p. 6

167 NZ Herald, 17 Aug, 3 Sep 40, pp. 15, 6

168 Ibid., 30 Aug, 3 Sep 40, pp. 8, 6

169 Wanganui Herald, 23 Aug 40, p. 6. They raised £5,000; Evening Post, 5 Dec 40, p. 14

170 Evening Post, 29 Aug 40, p. 13

171 Ibid.

172 Taranaki Dally News, 30 Aug 40, p. 3

173 Southland Times, 17 Aug 40, p. 4; for Empire; Air Training Scheme, see Thompson, H. L., New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force, vol I, pp. 209–11

174 Wanganui Herald, 26 Aug 40, p. 8

175 Otago Daily Times, 30 Aug 40, p. 4; NZ Herald, 5 Sep 40, p. 12; Evening Post, 3 Sep 40, p. 6

176 Evening Post, 21, 29 Aug 40

177 Ibid., 30 Sep 40, p. 8

178 NZ Herald, 6 Sep 40, p. 6

179 Press, 6 Dec 40, p. 4

180 Auckland Star, 25 Sep 40, p. 9

181 Press, 6 Dec 40, p. 8

182 Evening Post, 8 Mar 41, p. 11 [sic. £156,767]

183 Ibid., 5 Apr 41, p. 11

184 Press, 2 May 41, p. 10

185 Knight, Group Captain M. W. B. DFC, Legion of Merit (US), RAF: b Dannevirke 1916; joined RAF 1935, cmd No 485 (NZ) Squadron from 1941

186 Evening Post, 7 Jun 41, p. 9

187 Thompson, p. 212

188 Evening Post, 8 Jun 40, p. 13

189 NZ Herald, 13 Jun 40, p. 11

190 Otago Daily Times, 7 Aug 40, p. 6

191 Auckland Star, 30 Sep 40

192 Evening Post, 25 Sep, 10 Oct 40, pp. 11, 7

193 Ibid., 30 Sep 40

194 Auckland Star, 2 Oct 40. p. 10

195 Evening Post, 5 Jun 41, p. 10

196 Auckland Star, 3 Apr 43, p. 6

197 Hercock, Thomas William, OBE(’46) (1889–1965): Mayor Napier 1938–50

198 Dominion, 16 May 40, p. 11

199 Williams, Charles W.: Napier resident from birth, one of city’s oldest residents; d 1953

200 Hawke’s Bay Daily Mail, 30 May 40, p. 8

201 Williams to Min Int Aff, 8 Nov 40, IA 173/1, pt 3

202 Shakespeare, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey, PC, 1st Baron (’42) (1893–1980): MP (UK) 1922–3, 1929–45; Parly Sec Min Health 1932–6, Bd Educ 1936–7; Parly & Financial Sec Admlty 1937–40, Dept Overseas Trade 1940, Parly Under-Sec State Dom Aff & chmn Children’s Overseas Reception Bd 1940–2

203 Report to Committee on Homes for British Children, 22 Nov 40, p. 1, IA 146/1

204 Ibid., p. 9

205 Bay of Plenty Beacon, 28 Jun 40, quoting statement by Under-Secretary for the Dominions

206 Some mothers in reception areas in Britain had proved to be a tougher problem than the children.

207 Timaru Herald, 10 Jul 40, p. 6

208 Hawke’s Bay Daily Mail, 12 Jun 40, p. 7

209 North Auckland Times, 2 Jul 40

210 Evening Post, 27 Jun 40, p. 13

211 NZ Herald, 5 Jul 40, p. 8

212 Ibid., 20 Jul 40, p. 12

213 Ibid., 30 Aug 40, p. 10

214 Ibid., 3 Jul 40, p. 12

215 Press, 2 Jul 40, p. 8

216 Wanganui Herald, 1 Jul 40, p. 6; Hawke’s Bay Daily Mail, 10 Jul 40, p. 6; Rotorua Morning Post, 29 Aug 40; Press, 3 Sep 40, p. 8

217 In the two shipments of children in 1940, there were 82 girls and 120 boys

218 Taranaki Herald, 5 Jul 40; Taranaki Daily News, 10 Jul 40, p. 6; Hawke’s Bay Herald-Tribune, 4 Jul 40

219 Truth, 3 Jul 40, p. 11; NZ Observer, 26 Jun 40, p. 6; Palmerston NorthTimes, 3 Jul 40, p. 6

220 NZ Herald, 14 Jun 40, p. 10

221 Timaru Herald, 11 Jul 40, p. 10

222 Evening Post, 28 Jun 40, p. 8

223 Report of Interdepartmental Committee on Homes for British Children, nd, IA 146/1

224 Evening Post, 28 Sep 40, p. 13

225 Timaru Herald, 5 Oct 40, p. 8

226 NZ Herald, 8 Oct 40, p. 9

227 Evening Post, 3 Oct 40, p. 12

228 NZHC, London to Min Internal Aff, 29 Oct 40, IA 173/1/1

229 Evening Post, 12 Oct 40, p. 12

230 UKHC to Sec Dom Aff, 29 Jan 42, IA 178/247

231 Report of Superintendent of Child Welfare, 20 Dec 40, IA 173/1/1; A to J 1943, E–4, p. 3, 1944, E–4, p. 6

232 A to J1945, E–4, p. 7

233 Ibid., 1944, E–4, p. 6

234 Ibid., 1945, E–4, pp. 7–8

235 Evening Post, 12 Oct 40, p. 12

236 A to J1945, E–4, p. 8

237 Evening Post, 6 May 41, p. 5

238 A to J1946, E–4, p. 14

239 Extract from House of Commons official report of 16 July 1940 on Children’s Overseas Reception Scheme, read by the British High Commissioner, Sir Harry Batterbee, at a meeting of British Children Reception Committee, Wellington, 4 Sep 40, IA 146/1