CONFERENCE AT PALMERSTON NORTH 1948
© NZ Command LF
HELD IN THE KEILLER HALL OALMERSTON NORTH
ON SATURDAY JUNE 5TH 1948
Commandant J.C Findlater, Pnr, LMSM with the following members of New Zealand Headquarters Staff:
Lt Col J.H Hyde, Commissioner;
Capt C.W Carncross, Pnr, O,i/c Records
Lieut E.J.P Simpson, Staff Adjutant
2/Lieut H.A Bayley, Liaison Officer
2/Lieut D. Kenny, Quartermaster
A Squadron AucklandLieut A.C. Thompson, MM C Squadron GisborneLieut T.H. Morgan D Squadron HamiltonSgt R, Griffiths F Squadron Te AwamutuCapt J.A. Marx G Squadron WanganuiLieut W. Little H Squadron Hawkes BayLieut T. Heighway I Squadron WellingtonCapt K. Hansen J Squadron TaurangaCapt J.B. Prior K Squadron Masterton Capt F.C. Palmer L Squadron New PlymouthLieut C.G. Cocksedge M Squadron StratfordCapt H.C. Prideaux N Squadron Palmerston NorthLieut A.T. White, MC, VD O Squadron Te KuitiLieut A.J.W. Annan T Squadron Te ArohaCapt A. Keightley V Squadron ChristchurchCapt T.H.P. Davey Y Squadron WhakataneCapt R. Whittaker Z Squadron ManaiaCapt N.H. Pearson Dunedin TroopFm J. Dodds, Pnr Cornwall TroopLieut E.B Randell Timaru TroopRepresented by Fm J. Dodds, Pnr
Total number attending Conference: 155
LEGION OF FRONTIERSMEN (Inc) NEW ZEALAND COMMAND
MINUTES of the Annual Conference held at Palmerston North on Saturday 5th June 1948
The meeting was held in the Keiller Hall in the A&P Showgrounds, Cuba Street, Palmerston North, and was attended by 155 Frontiersmen at the opening session. Conference opened at 10am.
WELCOME: The Commandant said that it was his pleasant duty to extend a welcome to delegates, and to the Mayor of Palmerston North, Mr G.T Tremaine, who had been invited to open the Conference.
Members of the Legion were all aware of the very considerable work being done by Civic authorities throughout the Dominion. He made some passing reference to the name and crest of the city of Palmerston North, which he stated was at one time settled by the New Zealand Land Company.
On rising, the Mayor stated that he wished to give thanks for the very warm welcome that had been extended to him. With regard to the Commandant’s reference to the city crest, the actual meaning of the Latin words inscribed on the crest were “Let him who has the palm bear it,” that is “Honour to him to whom honour is due.” and he desired to apply this quotation to the Legion. He thanked the executive for the invitation to be present and hoped that the conference would be a complete success. He stated he had always been brief in his remarks and after he had attended one or two conferences he had decided some years ago that anyone opening a conference should say all he had to say in five minutes. He said that perhaps before he had finished his five minutes, those present might be congratulating themselves that the five minutes were nearly up. He was particularly pleased to receive the invitation to open the Conference because he realised the Legion was one organisation at least which was loyal to the throne and to the Empire, and he used the word ‘Empire’ advisedly because it was to the Empire to which he claimed British allegiance since in his early boyhood days. He believed that it was one of the greatest mistakes ever made when the term ’British Empire’ was changed to that of ‘British Commonwealth of Nations.’ Since that time there had been a decided change in the loyalty to the Crown and the Empire. He did not need to state those who already had been lost to the Empire: he did not need to mention those who may secede from the Empire in the near or distant future – that was within the knowledge of all present and he left it to them. Perhaps it all went back to the time when the statute of Westminster was passed and the term ‘British Commonwealth of Nations’ was brought into existence instead of our great ‘British Empire.’ There had been a serious decline in the loyalty and other ties binding the Empire, but that position could not arise if the whole spirit of loyalty could once again be engendered in all of us. It made one seriously consider whether or not our Empire was not falling down – like other great Empires of the past, such as Rome, Turkey and Spain. Just as we in New Zealand find that the town needs the country, and the country needs the town, so he thought, did every component part of the British Empire need the other part for its prosperity and security. He considered there were two great things which had an influence for good in the world, and these were our gratitude to and our love for God, and our relations between man and man. He went on to refer to the bonds which had previously existed between Great Britain and the various parts of the Empire: he felt that the relationship was not quite the same as it was in the past, and as a result small nations who had relied on Great Britain in the past and were eager to have her goodwill were now threatening Britain because they thought she was falling down. It might be said that he was trespassing on the ground of politics, but that was not his purpose, which was really to emphasise that we wanted more and much more loyalty to the Crown and to the Empire, and that, he understood, was the foundation stone of the Legion. He trusted that the Legion would grow in strength and numbers and in determination not only in New Zealand, but in every part of the British Empire, and so regain in a large measure that spirit of loyalty that we had known in the past. He regarded the Legion not only as a mere organisation, but as one prepared to give assistance in any form of emergency and as Mayor he would have no hesitation at any time in calling upon the Legion for assistance in the event of any crisis and he knew that assistance would be readily given. He understood that members had come from all parts of New Zealand, and he extended them a warm welcome during their stay in Palmerston North. He said the city of Palmerston North was most convenient for holding any Dominion Conference. He looked upon it as the coming capital of New Zealand, and he now regarded Wellington as being one of the city’s suburbs because it will be only 25 minutes by air when the aerodrome at Rongotai is in service. Apart from that, one half of the population of New Zealand was situated to the north of Palmerston North, and the other half to the south, and if anyone could find a more convenient place, then he would like to hear of it. He hoped all delegates would enjoy their stay in Palmerston North, that the Conference would be very successful, and that members would find something worthwhile to see in Palmerston North, and would renew old connections and make new ones. He had very much pleasure in declaring the Conference duly opened.
Commandant thanked the Mayor for his address and concurred with him in his sentiments.
PRAYER. Rev A. Salmond of Levin, Chaplain to N Squadron, who was present, then offered up a prayer, and the delegates and all present joined in singing the National Anthem. Conference the adjourned for morning tea at 10:30am and resumed at 10:45am.
Lieut J.L.C. Merton, N Squadron, then made a few announcements to delegates in connection with their stay in Palmerston North and in particular to the supply of theatre tickets which which were available in the hall, arrangements for the conference photograph at 1:30 and the football match on Monday.
Capt D.A. Honore, N Squadron, extended a cordial welcome to all visiting delegates and their friends who had come from all parts of New Zealand to join in the 1948 Annual Conference. He said these were the only occasions when they could all foregather and talk about old times. He expressed his appreciation to the large number which had to the Conference and regretted any difficulties they might have in securing accommodation. He stated that several members of N Squadron had tried continuously during the past few weeks to book accommodation for delegates, but unfortunately another reunion was taking place in the city: nevertheless, the local members of N Squadron had done their best to find accommodation, and he regretted that delegates had had to be dispersed over a large area.
Commandant stated that a report had been received that Captain Perry of G Squadron, was very ill and also Pioneer Bridge of T Squadron, Te Aroha, and Lt Col Rose of Paraparaumu.
MOVED: that suitable telegrams be sent to each from this Conference
MINUTES: of the 1947 Conference held at Hastings on the 31st day of May 1947, were then read
Pioneer Foord: drew attention to an error in the minutes relating to the Pioneer Cup. He said the cup was given to replace the Weston Cup and was for open sights under original Weston conditions, the Weston Rules having been altered to match conditions.
Commandant. Apologised for the omissions and said the minutes had been altered accordingly.
MOTION to approve the minutes was then seconded and put to the meeting and passed.
LEGION MEMORIAL: In reply to a question regarding the Legion Memorial at National Park, Commissioner Hyde stated that the damage to the Memorial had now been repaired by the contractors who originally erected it, and the repairs had been done at no cost to the organisation. This statement evoked substantial applause.
Pioneer J. Dodds: extended greetings to those present from Fm Bill McCallum from Dunedin.
Commandant: Moved that a telegram expressing good wishes from the Conference be sent to Fm Bill McCallum. His number is 7400 odd.
Commandant stated that a telegram from Capt Blair, D Squadron, had been received regretting inability to attend the conference on account of illness. Also other apologies from:-
Corporal F. Bush, M Squadron
Capt W.E.M. Bouuchier, A Squadron
Capt L.D. Hickford, L Squadron
Capt H. Biddle, H Squadron
Fm P.C. Doherty, J Squadron
Lieut J.A. Forbes, Dunedin Troop
Lieut F. Brock, H Squadron
SSM J. Myhill, J Squadron
Fm C, Stanley, N Squadron
Fm A. Cook, N Squadron
Fm A. Dickens, N Squadron
MOVED and seconded that apologies be sustained. Carried
Commandant MOVED appointment of a committee to investigate the shooting scores, and the following were approved:-
Pioneer Foord, M Squadron
Lieut Denholm, N Squadron
Lieut Scott, M Squadron
SQUADRON REPORTS & BALANCE SHEETS
Delegates then proceeded to read their reports and balance sheets concerning the year’s operations of their various squadrons and troops. These for the most part reflected the added enthusiasm displayed during the year and indicated increased activity for the future. As the reports were read, frequent applause was accorded to outstanding items of activity in the respective units. At the conclusion of Z Squadron’s report, the Chairman referred to the fact that this squadron had met 60 times during the year and no complaints. Much interest too, was evident during the submission of the report of Lieut Cole of the Cadet Division.
Commandant MOVED the adoption of the reports and Balance Sheets from the various Squadrons and Troops except as to one item in A Squadron’s balance sheet. He said there was nothing seriously wrong, but until the present position was clarified, the particular item was not acceptable from HQ point of view. The question to be decided was to the final payment of the money. With that reservation he formally moved from the chair the adoption of the reports and balance sheets from the various Squadrons and Troops. Lieut A.E Langley seconded. Passed.
HQ ANNUAL REPORT & BALANCE SHEET
Commandant proceeded to read HQ Annual Report for the year ending 30 May 1948. He asked the meeting to accept the balance of the report as read, and then went on to the Balance Sheet in detail. He said the completion of this had been held over to permit of some later payments to be made until 24th May and referred to the fact the largest Squadron had been deprived of voting strength today because payments had not come to hand in time.
Commandant, in speaking to the Balance Sheet, said that last year an attempt was made to carry on without increasing the subscription. HQ had tried to offer a better service to Squadrons. He referred to the expenses entailed in producing the ‘Frontiersman’ and said that the cost of printing had increased to a colossal figure and one did not know what the cost of printing was going to be from day-to-day. The cost of printing was £103/16/3 and the 3/6 subscription did not pay for the cost of the paper. He congratulated the editor, Staff Adjutant Simpson, on his work in connection with the paper which he said also formed a very valuable Imperial link with those overseas. The August issue would contain a report of this particular Conference. He said the Legion strength was 740 and copies go out to 663 members. He hoped Squadrons would give the paper greater support.
HANDBOOKS: He said a great number had been sold during the year and orders were still coming to hand.
EQUIPMENT: HQ had managed to get some 120 sets some time ago. They had tried to get further supplies of buttons and badges from Gaunts in Birmingham, the original makers, but had been unsuccessful. It was difficult to get a license to import these goods into the country.
A Delegate enquired as to the position regarding a supply of greatcoats as he noticed the Commandant had stated that HQ had a considerable number on hand.
Commandant said he understood there were still some on hand, but after conferring with Commissioner Hyde he said that it now appeared that the greatcoats had been disposed of. He said a quantity of these from War Assets Realisation stock were now being offered for sale through commercial channels and it appeared they had been on sale in Auckland at prices varying from £2/19/6 to £3/2/6. Various delegates mentioned other prices at which greatcoats were being advertised for sale/
Commandant said there seems to be a divergence of opinion as to the, but the price in Auckland so far as costs were concerned was now stated to be 42/6d from one firm, from whom they could now be purchased direct.
Commandant MOVED adoption of the Report and Balance sheet. This was seconded by Lieut E.B Randell. Carried.
Commandant stated that there was one matter arising out of the Report and Balance Sheet wich would be discussed later, namely the item of £50 for London HQ.
Conference then proceeded to adjourn for lunch at approximately 12:30pm.
Conference resumed again at 2:10pm in the afternoon.
Remit No 1
Commandant read Remit
Lieut White (N Squadron in support): I propose this remit from N Squadron. We hope this clause will be deleted. We consider it is not necessary to have a probationary clause regarding the introduction of members to our Legion. A man is proposed by a member who is well known to all of us as a member of the Legion and seconded by a member of the Legion. Surely that in itself is enough to guarantee the integrity of the proposed member. It is therefore proposed that this clause be deleted from the Handbook. I formally move.
Seconded by Lieut T.H Morgan, C Squadron.
Pioneer Warren (N Squadron): When the copies of the new Handbook were sent out all Squadrons were asked to state any objection, but I am not sure if there was any major objection other than by N Squadron. If this remit is passed this afternoon, it just means that no sooner do you get a new handbook than you want to tear it to pieces. Why was it not thrown out before? It is all right to say some units have investigating committees. How many units give applications for membership a thorough investigation? If they would do their best it would be all right. The probation covers three monthly meetings. This gives every member a chance to get to know the new member. A member might be absent from his unit when the new member is proposed – he may be absent for two meetings. What harm is there in that little probationary period? I think the probationary period very, very fair. Capt Bould (C Squadron): Pioneer Warren made a statement that all Squadrons were asked to state any objection to the new by-laws when they were made out – did all Squadrons do so? I know C Squadron went through this section very particularly and that was a matter we said could be left at the time to our investigation committee. I think that if a Squadron has a committee and goes into the matter of an applicant’s credentials for membership that should be sufficient. If that is not, then the applicant is not suitable to come in. I would say that if the investigating committee does its job it should be quite sufficient for any man joining the Squadron. Fm Wallis (K Squadron): I think this would affect a large Squadron rather than a small one. A Delegate: I have never known a case where it has been taken advantage of. Sgt Griffiths (D Squadron): “D” went through this very thoroughly at their last meeting and decided that we leave it as it stands. We are not in favour. It gives the applicant time to find out all about the Legion during the three months. Lieut W Little (G Squadron): We are in favour of the retention of that section but are of the opinion that it should be left to the Squadrons Executive to decide on the probationary period. In some cases a man is well known and there is o need for a probationary period, but in other cases it is necessary. I would suggest that the section be left in to the discretion of the Executive of the Squadron. Lieut A.E Thompson (A Squadron): “A” opposes the remit. The three months probationary period is necessary, not only for the Squadron, but also for the incoming member. It gives the new member a chance to make up his mind. “A” is against this remit. Capt H.N. Pearson (Z Squadron): Speaking as a member, personally I think it would be a very step to admit members without any probationary period. Lieut Burling (Woodville): There is sufficient in our rules, which apply, without this section, to any member who is found unsuitable. A probationary period is hard on the probationers proposers. Most of those whom we propose are only men who we know very well. I don’t think there should be any need for the retention of a probationary period. Lieut White (N Squadron in reply): Gentlemen, in reply to Pioneer Warren, if a rule is found burdensome then it is best to get rid of it straight away. Surely if any member of the Legion proposes another he would feel rather hurt that his nominee should be subject to the indignity of a probationary period.
Remit then put to the vote and lost by 23 votes to 18 votes.
Remit as to (b),
Commandant, to Lieut White, N Squadron: In view of the remit as to (a) being lost, do you agree to this remit being deleted because of the vote on #1?
Lieut White agreed to (b), (c) and (d) being deleted.
Remit No 2
We think, in this Remit 2, that if a man is leaving the district the duty should fall on him, within a specified period, to notify the officer of his unit that he has resigned or moved from the district, so as to give that Troop or Squadron some definite idea as to what he is doing or where he is. At the present time it is not obligatory to notify his executive just where he is. We think it is necessary. He should, within a reasonable time notify his Squadron of his intention. I move that this remit be agreed to.
Lieut Thompson (A Squadron): We oppose this remit. A member of the Legion might leave the district for a couple of meetings. He would not like the idea of joining up again. He mentioned a case of a member of the Legion who came into the district and was approached to join but did not feel inclined to carry on with us. We felt the member had exercised his own wish. Capt Prideaux (M Squadron): We think it is obligatory on the Squadron to find out where the man is going to, and that they should notify the Troop in the area where the man is going to. Lieut White, (N Squadron): If a member changes his place of residence it should be obligatory on him to notify his Squadron, the man might be anywhere. It is very difficult for the Squadron to find where every individual member is – a postcard would let the Squadron know where he is. Pioneer Warren (N Squadron): I cannot see that section 40 has much bearing on the proposed alteration. Lieut J.L.C. Merton (N Squadron): Section 40 is incorporated in this Remit. We have a case where a member of N Squadron left the district – we believe he is somewhere in the Waikato, but we don’t know his address so that we can notify the Squadron. The man is unfinancial for last year and his name will have to be struck off. If he had notified us we would have been able to notify D Squadron and written to him. Pioneer Dodds (R Squadron): I think Section 40 does not refer to this remit as it says that “should a member decide to join another unit on transfer, both units will arrange proportionate subscriptions. It is fortunate that the section in the 1936 handbook was not included in the new one. I think that if it had been included it would overcome this difficulty. F/m Mewitt (N Squadron): With reference to this remit, I think the member’s first duty is to the Legion – the obligation is on him to advise his unit what has happened to him and where he goes. If a man joins and then goes away, it is up to him to advise the Legion where he is. His fundamental duty is to the Legion. Applause. Lieut White (N Squadron): An apportionment of the members subscription would be arranged with the unit concerned.. A Delegate interposed to suggest that the list of votes should be read back before voting is concluded. Commandant stated that everything was in order as there was a triple check. The remit was put to the meeting and carried 32 votes to 9.
Remit No 3
Lieut White (N Squadron in support): With regard to Section 51, a very small deletion is necessary. The main point is the allocation of a levy of 1/- in place of the former levy of 6d given to Headquarters for Conference purposes. I now ask that the annual payment to be made should be: Annual Renewal 7/6, Conference levy 1/- totalling 8/6. This helps the Squadron that is providing the Conference to arrange sufficient funds for the purpose. That is the main purpose behind the remit. I would like your support as this may be required. Seconded by Capt Whittaker (Y Squadron): We feel that with the present rise in costs that 1/- is definitely needed. The remit was put to the meeting and carried on the voices.
Remit No 4, N Squadron.
Lieut White (in support): We put in this remit because we thought we would like the whole matter discussed by Conference itself. Commandant: It seems to me that this remit No 4 should be withdrawn as it is covered by the previous discussion on remit No 3. Lieut White: I agree.
Remit No 5, N Squadron.
Commandant: This remit should also be withdrawn as HQ has made the necessary arrangements Lieut White: I agree.
Remit No 6
Lieut White (in support): As you see today a report has been handed to us of last years Conference, which took place twelve months ago. The idea is of course, that a full record would be available almost at the finish of this meeting and that it would be quite reasonable that a full report should be handed to all Squadrons within two months. With regard to the report at Hastings and all previous Conferences, our worthy Commandant did the whole lot. I think that it is reasonable that if we do have a report that we should get it at the end of two months. Seconded by Pioneer R Foord The remit was put to the meeting and carried on the voices. Commissioner: A report will be published in the August issue of the ‘Frontiersman.’
Remit No 7.
T Squadron in support: The object of bringing forward this remit is just to bring the rules up to date. Rifles manufactured now are more up to date. We all know that the Mark IV rifle is fixed with an aperture sight. Old rifles are not allowed to be used in all shooting conditions outside Great Britain. In our shoot, three out of five rifles used were Mark IV fitted with aperture sights, and we therefore had to use them. We think the remit is reasonable. I think the remit should read “Military sights” whatever they are at the time. Commandant suggested the words “standard military sight” instead of the words “open sight”. Commissioner Hyde: It is possibly not well known that standard rifles are equipped with an aperture sight. On the rule as it stands, the standard rifle of today could not be used and that was not the intention of the donor of the cup. Commandant: What is wanted is the the words “standard military sight” instead of the words “open sight”. Lieut Merton (N Squadron): I would like to point out that it would be necessary as well to amend Rule 3 of the rules for the D’Esterre Cup in the handbook. I would like to move an amendment that the reference to that rule be included in the motion before it is put to the meeting. Capt Carncross (M Squadron): We are all aware that most of us have our own rifles with open sights. If we have to go to the expense of fitting aperture sights I cannot see that it would give us a very big advantage. I would suggest that the way out of the difficulty is to work on a handicap basis. I have not thought of what it should be – it would be our way of getting over the difficulty. F/m Mewitt (N Squadron): I am of the opinion that the words “Standard Military Rifle” would cover the whole thing. We should adopt the rifle in use at the time. F/m Gilshnan (J Squadron): Different models of rifles would still be allowable. I think “military sight” would be the term – “standard military sight.”
MOVED that the words in the No 1 Rule of the Rules for the Legion of Frontiersmen Memorial Cup and also Rule No (3) of the rules of the D’Esterre Challenge Cup be altered from “open sights” to “standard military sights” Carried
Remit No 8
Lieut Thompson, ‘A’ Squadron: I have instructions from ‘A’ Squadron to vote in favour of this remit. I think this is a case where we should jealously the award of this decoration of the Pioneer Axe. I am very much in favour of this remit. I MOVE that it be adopted Lieut Little, ‘G’ Squadron, I move an amendment that the word ‘not’ in the last line be deleted. In moving I feel that no one knows more about a member than the Squadron to which he belongs, and that should be a recommendation. I agree with the first part of the remit, but I move as an amendment that the ord ‘not’ be deleted. I would point out that the way it reads it could refer only to NZHQ staff. Where else could we find anyone entitled to the award. Commandant said he also thought the wording of the remit was somewhat ambiguous. Lieut Thompson, ‘A’ Squadron: The remit is only intended to refer to a case where a nominee is a member of one Squadron – the member proposed mush have rendered unusual benefits to the Legion, rather than to any particular squadron. Captain Whittaker, Y Squadron: I am of the opinion that the last part should not be carried. We are in favour of the remit if the last part is deleted when granting the award, it should be given very serious consideration – it would be better if the award made and the conditions were made public. Commandant: We have recently a case in Auckland. I refer to Lieut Norman Kerr. ‘A’ Squadron had no recommendation in for this. As no application had come from the Squadron, Conference thought it might get over the difficulty by making a resolution of appreciation for the work he did. Another recommendation was of a member well known to us, I refer to Fontiersman William James Wright who had been OC of his Squadron between 1919 and 1946. If Conference is faced this afternoon, by passing this resolution with the award of only one Pioneer Axe per annum, and we are asked which of the two men is entitled to the Pioneer Axe, then I cannot say who should be entitled. Notwithstanding all this, these men know nothing about the award today. Would you like to say that one man was more entitled than the other? the question is whether you are going to leave it at one, two or more. Commissioner Hyde: Two were awarded last conference. The awards were unanimously recommended by those present. Squadrons were unanimous in recommending the award to Lieut Bourchier which was proposed by Commandant Findlater, although he knew that he had also been recommended, and the award to Lieut Bourchier might automatically debar him from receiving the Axe. Capt JA Marx, ‘F’ Squadron: There have been two awards in the past. There are two men well worthy of the Axe today. I am in favour of giving these men the Axe. I understand they are well worthy of it. I would suggest that each man be awarded the Axe.
I MOVE in that direction that Lieut W.N Kerr and F/m Wright be given the award of the Pioneer Axe.
Lieut TH Morgan, ‘C’ Squadron: I second the motion that the two applicants be confirmed. Lieut Burling, ‘C’ Squadron: I personally would not like to see the award limited to one member. ‘A’ Squadron would have been pleased to have recommended Lieut W.N Kerr as award for the Axe.
The motion to award the Axe to Lieut W.N Kerr and F/m Wright was then put to the meeting and carried on the voices.
Voting on Remit.
Hunt, Y Squadron: If this remit is carried, any man in the same capacity in future is barred from receiving the Pioneer Axe. A Delegate, Hastings: The Pioneer Axe ought to be equal to the VC – not limited to two. Capt K Hansen, I Squadron: we have had ample proof of this in past years time-and-time again, and I think that if a man is entitled to, and has earned the Axe, why should he not get it. I suggest that the remit be put to the vote
AN AMENDMENT was then moved that the word “not” in the second to last line of Remit 8 should be deleted.
Commandant thought this would result in limiting a man’s work to the particular Squadron and suggested that A Squadron should withdraw the whole of the last sentence. Lieut Thompson, A Squadron: We agree
The remainder of the Remit as amended was put to the meeting but was Lost on the voices with much applause.
Remit No 9
Lieut Thompson, A Squadron: This remit is brought forward by Lieut Norman Kerr. I think the idea is a good one – I don’t know that it would occur very often. I have much pleasure in recommending that the remit be passed and I MOVE accordingly. Commandant: I don’t think that there would be any harm in not passing it. Lieut B.A Norman, M Squadron: I am against it. This cross is worn by the next-of-kin – the only award of gallantry entitled to a salute is the Victoria Cross, I think it would be a pity to infringe on the privileges of the Cross. Capt D.A Honore, N Squadron: I think Conference time is too valuable to be taken up with the matter. I don’t think the matter is worth discussing. Commandant: I think A Squadron might withdraw the remit. Lieut Thompson, A Squadron: On behalf of Lieut Kerr I withdraw the remit
Remit No 10, A Squadron, Auckland
Commandant: Only on two occasions has Conference gone away from the month of June. Since 1926 Conference has not been held in a month other than June with the exception of a year when it commenced on May 31st. A Squadron in support, Sgt Phillips: I MOVE that the Conference should be held about Easter when more members would be able to attend, when the weather is milder instead of cold as it usually is in June, and when race meetings are being held and it is uncomfortable for travelling. I think we would find that at Easter there would be a much larger conference than at the present one. How many farmers are here at the present time? I reckon we should be more modern and suggest change to a time of more reasonable weather. I MOVE that you adopt this remit. Commandant thought there were two points of view to be considered. Captain Whittaker, Y Squadron: I am definitely opposed to this remit on account of the fact that this was one time of the year when a farmer member could get away. If held in the summer the conference won’t see many. As we said at last meeting we are definitely against change of any other than the month of June. Sgt Griffiths, D Squadron: I object to the remit not only for the reasons of the farmer, but also at Easter many married members take their children on holiday. Are we to give up everything else because a few want the conference in the summer months? Lieut Randell, Cornwall Park: We look forward to this little break. F/m Wallis, K Squadron: we are against the remit, changing the date of conference would definitely not suit us as most of our members are farmers and freezing workers and busy at Easter. Some of our members may not have joined otherwise. Lieut Cocksedge, L Squadron: I am against this remit. Main thing is the difficulty in travelling at Easter. Even at the present time it is difficult to get hotel accommodation. Capt Pearson, Z Squadron: Majority of our members could not get away if the date is changed Lieut Cocksedge, L Squadron: We are against this remit
The remit was put to the meeting but lost on the voices.
The Conference adjourned for afternoon tea and resumed at approximately 3.50.
Remit No 11, Z Squadron (Manaia)
Capt Pearson: The reason for remit No 11 was to get first-hand information from London HQ as to what they are doing in England from time to time and to be discussed here at conference. A Delegate: Will Manaia tell us what information would be gained by a representative going to England for this, and what further equipment could be obtained and who who do they expect to pay the cost. A Delegate: I take it that a ‘Liaison’ officer appears to be what is wanted in London – is that the idea? Mover: It would only to get information. Pioneer Dodds, R Squadron: He might be on the High Commissioner’s staff. It seems rather difficult to get information from them at present. Lieut Burling, N Squadron: At present we have a Frontiersman in England and, by arrangement with NZHQ, he is contacting Imperial HQ. He is SM O’Brien of this Squadron. Capt Pearson, Z Squadron: We discussed this fully and as members know we looked at all the trouble which was gone to by NZHQ as to where to send parcels and what was to be done. In the end they cabled enquiring the cause of the delay. We were then of opinion that there should be a representative and did not know until now that there was someone there. If we had known we would not have brought this remit forward. Lieut Heighway, H Squadron: We have got three tons of soap – can only send same through the Red Cross to Red Cross Association in England. We told people when they paid for this soap we hoped to get it to their friends. We were going to contact HQ to assist us in the distribution. We are very keen to get the representatives address and we intended to ask NZ HQ to write for us. A Delegate: I would like to know if there is any way of finding whether London HQ is alive or dead, or if there is any likelihood of getting any co-operation out of them. Commandant: London HQ has been out of action for some considerable time. During the blitz, part of the records were destroyed. It was just dormant. From HQ London we have received two letters which may explain the position and which may affect the payment of the £50.
[Commandant read the two letters]
These two letters are the only actual contacts we have had. We have had no real discussions with imperial HQ. We don’t know what conditions they may have experienced. We hope to have a report from SM O’Brien and eventually establish some sort of contact. We value to Empire tie very highly. The only thing is to await a report of the area commanders’ meeting and this will be published in the ‘Frontiersmen’ when it comes to hand. It is desirable that the £50 in today’s balance sheet should be approved by this conference or whether you should leave it to HQ. We have no intention in hold on to the money. We feel that it should be sent as an affiliation fee and we feel that the money should go home.
Commandant: We have always set aside that sum. Two years ago we sent the sum of £100. The reason we sent that was because I expected to move out of the office of Commandant, and I wanted to be certain that the money would go forward. We have set aside £25 this year and £25 last year for this purpose and this makes up the £50 in the balance sheet. There is a possibility of Imperial HQ being reconstructed. MOVED that Z Squadron be permitted to withdraw remit. A motion was put to the meeting and carried on the voices.
Remit No 12
Sgt Griffiths, D Squadron: ‘D’ is in favour that no unfinancial member be struck off. It should be left to the discretion of the Squadron. So long as the member is financial with HQ it does not matter he is financial with the Squadron or not. A man may be up against it. We had a case in our own Squadron, a man became ill and had no hope of paying his subscription, but the Squadron kept him financial. Lieut Cocksedge, L Squadron: The object of this remit is to give a good man who has not paid his subscription time to make such payment. At present if a man is unfinancial for one year, at the end of that year he ceases to be a member. By leaving a man on the strength for two years it would obviate having to go to the man again to fill in a fresh form of application. Lieut Merton, N Squadron: I think this is a matter that should be left to the Squadron themselves. Section 145 of the Rulebook would have a bearing on this position. The Squadron’s annual return shows the men who have paid and those who are unfinancial. Squadron can carry a man for a year if they wish. Commandant: The remit is that we should carry a man for a year or so, so that he can come back without the issue of new papers. A Delegate: If a troop has a man who cannot pay his fees then it is up to the troop to pay his fee for him – that they carry him in the meantime – no-one knows anything about it. A Delegate: You have to alter rule 146. A Delegate: The latter part of rule 145 says: “In cases of hardship the Squadron executive shall have power to suspend this rule if they consider it is in the best interest of the Legion, but such Squadron will be responsible for the member’s capitation to NZHQ." Commissioner Hyde: There is a distinction in the two cases – he can rejoin. A Delegate: It seems that this is more of a matter for the members own Squadron than for a conference meeting. HQ staff don’t want to be bothered with individual members. The Squadron knows all about the member and that he will reimburse the Squadron when he is able to. It should be left to the responsibility of the Squadron Executive. A Squadron: I think this remit is going to be quite a help. A Delegate: F Squadron agrees with Christchurch. Lieut Cocksedge, L Squadron: We will withdraw the remit.
Commandant: I propose that we now proceed to discuss the question of the Defence problems of the Dominion. Dunedin has sent forward the following resolution – “In view of the unsettled conditions of the world and having in mind the lessons of World War 1 and 2, the Legion of Frontiersmen strongly supports the RSA in its demand for the introduction of Compulsory Military Training.” Lieut Burling, N Squadron: I MOVE the resolution. Lieut Randell, Cornwall Troop: I SECOND the resolution. Commandant: The question is whether the scheme proposed by the Government is adequate. Lieut Gardiner, N Squadron: Referred to Defence scheme prior to the First World War introduced in 1911. When World War broke out a man had had three years training. Throughout 1914-18 there were men going into camp who had had at least three years training. Voluntary enlistment was a failure, so, soon as peace was declared everyone began to lose interest. We as Frontiersmen, who believe in being ready, should support this because the years between 1918 and 1939 show the fallacy of being disarmed. If you are prepared, no-one would want to fight you. I think this conference should support Compulsory Military Training. Lieut Merton, N Squadron: It doesn’t matter what your men are when you take them into camp – it very largely depends upon the officers and NCO’s. In 1914 we had a very large number of trained officers in the Territorials at the time. At that time some had also had training in the old volunteers – it was a strong argument in favour of military training. It gives a means of training officers and NCO’s SM Adams, Cornwall Troop: I do strongly advise every man in this room to stand behind the RSA or any other organisation in bringing in military training for defence – it improves every boy – we all enjoyed it. We learnt something worthwhile and because we wore a uniform we felt we had a definite status. The mere fact of a boy being trained keeps a boy in better condition and it teaches him to behave. SSM Williams stated that there was less crime during compulsory Military Training. I am strongly behind the RSA. Frontiersman Wallis, K Squadron: Next time we might have very little warning. Frontiersman Stanley, N Squadron: I agree with what has already been said and all points that have been made are very valuable. I think there are several advantages in Compulsory Military Training, for that in time of crisis, such as a war, you have that organisation that is ready for complete mobilisation – all of one strength. Trained leaders and trained instructors – a complete organisation and a complete mobilisation in a short time. Lieut Gardiner, N Squadron: Go back to 1911- where were you? At every street corner you had a gang of hooligans. On the introduction of Compulsory Military Training they all disappeared, thus showing the value of training. I noticed that. Lieut Morgan, Gisborne: This bears out what the last speaker said. I happened to be living in Wellington at the time of the last War. It wasn’t safe to go down a side street in those days. When Compulsory Military Training came in things were different. It should never have been allowed to go out like it did. We see a number of youths not playing games. As one having a number of years experience, I will say that I consider Compulsory Military Training in New Zealand was one of the finest things that New Zealand ever had. It will make men of some of our youths. I think that it should be a recommendation from this conference that Compulsory Military Training should be put back again on the statute books. Another Delegate: During 1936-42 I was a member of the Police Force in Wellington. There were a large number of toughs around the streets until Compulsory Military Training came in. The delegate spoke of an individual case of a boy with a very bad record, who was called up and went away. When he came back from overseas I met him and he told me that he would never go back to his old way of living, and he is now living the life of an exemplary citizen. Lieut B.A Norman: I would not like to see it go out from this conference that Compulsory Military Training is an antidote for hooliganism. Compulsory Military Training is an insurance policy against possible attack. A Delegate enquired whether the resolution would go forward to the Government or whether it would go forward to the RSA
The resolution was then put to the meeting and was CARRIED unanimously on the voices.
Commandant said that the following resolution had been put in for consideration:
“This conference views with great concern the activities of subversive elements throughout New Zealand threatening to bring our whole economic system to ruin along with our democratic way of living. It must be recognised that the campaign is of foreign origin and the propagandists know no government but that of the country the represent.”
Lieut Heighway, H Squadron: If we look in the front of the Handbook we will see the definition of a Frontiersman. Our rules say that we should not indulge in anything of a religious or political nature.
I WILL MOVE:-
That all Frontiersmen personally use all means in their power and at all times both public and private, to combat and fight against communism which is now eating its way into the vitals of the Empire.
Lieut Merton, N Squadron: I feel that the last speaker should retain the words “subversive elements” as it is not only the communists we have to fight. Delegate: We are definitely going against our own constitution. Sgt Phillips: They are a danger to the Legion here. I think the time has come when our standards of conduct and living will be in danger of being submerged by something much worse than we have been brought up to. I would like every man to make it his job during the next few years to try and find it possible to stand up for our democratic way of living that we have been brought up to. That the Legion stands for many good things which look as though they might pass. Frontiersman Tennant, J Squadron: I SECOND the motion. I would like to suggest that the words “or other subversive elements” be inserted after the word “communism.” I don’t think it comes under the heading of politics. I think it should be fought with everything we have.
The resolution, as amended by the addition of the words “or other subversive elements” after the word “communism” was then put to the meeting and carried in the following words:
“That all Frontiersmen personally use all means in their power and at all times, both publically and privately, to combat the fight against communism or other subversive elements which are now eating their way into the vitals of the Empire.” CARRIED.
Frontiersman Walker, A Squadron, apologised for the late arrival of three Frontiersmen from Auckland who had come by air and who had been delayed on the way. He suggested the creation of an Air Section as he was sure there were quite a number of young men who would be only too glad to join. I would like to see if anything could be done in this direction and if a pair of wings could be incorporated in the Legion badge. He suggested that each squadron or troop incorporate an air section as this would build up a good defence line and it was time we had the “Air” in. He stated they had several men with good records in air in their squadron. I am asking if you will let us have these wings with the Legion badge incorporated. SM Adams, Cornwall Troop: As regards wings in connection with the Air Force, you are allowed to wear them at any time – able to wear them at any time afterwards, but no-one is allowed to wear wings unless he has earned them. I think it would be awkward to make insignia with wings on them. I don’t think it would work
NEXT YEARS CONFERENCE
Commandant: As to the venue of next years conference. The idea was to go to Whakatane in 1949 and to Christchurch during the centennial year, 1950. The question now is as to the venue of next year’s conference. Capt Whittaker, Y Squadron: I would like to make an application to have the conference at Whakatane next year. Lieut Thompson, A Squadron, MOVED that the conference be held at Auckland next year. Commandant: The conference has never been held at Whakatane. Lieut Morgan, C Squadron: I support Whakatane’s application. I have very much pleasure in SECONDING Whakatane’s application, and with the assistance of C & J Squadrons we can assure you all of a real good time over in Whakatane. Delegate inquired whether or not Whakatane had collected £100 towards the funds.
Whakatane replied that it was so.
Frontiersman Tennant, J Squadron: I would like to support the motion and we will do all we can to make it a success. The motion to hold next years conference was then put to the meeting and carried with applause. The Whakatane delegate thanked thanked the meeting and again stated that they would give everyone a very good time. Pioneer Warren MOVED that this conference vote £10/10/- toward the Aid to Britain Fund. SECONDED by Lieut JLC Merton. Carried. Cpl BA Norman MOVED an amendment that £5 be paid to the Aid to Britain Fund and £5 to the Starving Children Fund. This amendment was by agreement withdrawn. Capt Davey, V Squadron, mentioned that Rewi Alley, who was now working in China, was a member of the Legion of Frontiersmen. He stated that his Squadron had been asked to gather up certain items which Rewi Alley was in need of. The delegate MOVED that NZHQ be asked to gather from Squadron’s those small items which Rewi has asked for and sendc them to him in one parcel. SECONDED by Sister Pritchard. Delegate MOVED that HQ be authorised to spend £5 on what Rewi Alley wants. Delegate: I move that the matter be left to HQ. Carried. Capt Marx, F Squadron: Suggested that HQ compile a directory of all Frontiersmen in the Legion – it would be similar to our telephone directory. It could be compiled once a year and could be published in connection with “The Frontiersman” newspaper. This would enable all members to keep in touch with one another. Each Squadron could send in a list of its members to HQ. At the present time individual members have no list of the names and addresses of the other members. I think it would be time well spent and would keep us in touch. I MOVE that a directory be compiled once a year and it come out with the “Frontiersman” Commandant: I think the idea is an excellent one, but I am concerned about the cost of printing. Lieut Denholm, N Squadron: In the ‘Frontiersman published in England in 1918 there was a complete roll of all Frontiersmen. I think the suggestion would be a good idea. I SECOND the motion. Lieut Merton, N Squadron: I would very much like to have the information, but I don’t think it would meet the object suggested by the mover. Once you have lost touch with a man you have lost his address and any address you would have in the Returns would be useless. Pioneer Foord: We have all the necessary information in Squadron Returns, if a Squadron loses touch they should find out where the member has gone to. The idea is not practical. Commissioner Hyde: This particular subject bristles with difficulties. It is the aim of HQ to compile a Master Roll this year – one has never been compiled. We sent each unit a form of return. We have this Return here, and we have 768 names and addresses. I learned today that 15 more may be coming to us in one batch. By the time we get 768 names and addresses typed out they would have to go to the printers. By that time we would have a dozen more names to be added, and would make the directory obsolete in a month. You all know the names and addresses of your own personnel. If you want them, then you only have to peruse the Frontiersman for names of new members and transfers in Part II Orders. It would be a colossal job and would cost at least £40 to print the initial directory. Are we to be saddled with this every year? Results would not warrant the cost. Captain Marx (in reply): It seems as though this Conference is against my proposal and I accordingly withdraw my motion.
A Delegate enquired if increased number of every Squadron had been noted for the statuette.
Commissioner Hyde: All finalised. Presentation will be made at smoko tonight to winning unit.
OBITUARY Capt Carncross mentioned the loss of F/m RRB Falcon (A Squadron), F/m WD Ansell (K Squadron), Padre Cannon Petrie (V Squadron), F/m R Wilson (Y Squadron). He moved “That it be recorded in our minutes our deep sympathy and regret at the passing of those who had crossed the Great Frontier”. Conference stood as a mark of respect A Delegate said he had been wondering who it was that was missing from the dais today and it suddenly struck him that it was Pioneer Warren. He wanted to say that Pioneer Warren did yeoman service for the Legion and he would like to see some appreciation extended to him for the work he had done while he was liaison officer. Carried. A Delegate stated that at the time of printing the next issue of the Frontiersman, some 30 or 40 copies should be pulled and sent to Squadron HQ just before the next conference for the information of delegates. Commissioner Hyde stated that this could be done as suggested, but those requiring copies would have to pay for them accordingly. A Delegate stated that Field Marshall Smuts was a Frontiersman and he thought a suitable letter should be sent to him.This was agreed to, Commandant stated that he now desired consent of Conference to the £50 being sent to London and that it take the form of a capitation. Carried. Commandant, in connection with the forthcoming Royal Visit, said he would like to mention that an illuminated address be prepared for presentation to HM The King and that we offer our services, in the resolution of loyalty, and refer to the fact that we shall be willing to assist in every possible way and whenever called upon. Carried. SM Adams, Cornwall Troop, stated that he had seen in Auckland a tape machine that could be used to have a verbatim vocal record of Conference proceedings and that it might be possible to have this available for the Conference at Whakatane next year.
Commandant stated that it was just possible that this machine is keeping pace with the events of today, and thanked SM Adams for his offer for its use at Whakatane.
Lieut Little, G Squadron, enquired as to the position regarding badges.
Commissioner Hyde stated that during Capt Carncross’ term of office 1200 badges had been issued in New Zealand. We now had 768 men on our strength and he considered that 50% had received their badge prior to Capt Carncross assuming office.
I deemed it advisable to withdraw from units all redundant badges. I am trying to withdraw all badges not on authorised issue to wearers. It will take approximately 5 months to produce the quantity I have ordered, and also the medals – they were promised about ten days ago. We should have had the medals here today, but on enquiring about these I find that they have not made a start on the badges or medals. It may be several months before we have a badge to issue to you men. Those who have surplus badges should please return them to HQ. Commandant: There being no further business, I have much pleasure in declaring this Conference closed. I thank you one and all for the assistance you have given me as chairman during this meeting. Conference closed at approximately 5:25pm.