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“Farmer Is Held Up: His Team Taken,” Toronto Globe. August 8, 1918. Page 10.

But the Highway Robbers Are Soon Captured – Boy and Escaped Prisoner.

(Special Despatch to The Globe.)
Brantford, Aug. 7. – John Corton of St. George was held up on the St. George road and his team taken away at the point of a revolver last night. County Constable Taylor and P. C. Thomas went out and in a short time arrested Clarence Brackenbury and a lad named A. Lemon of 17 Able avenue. The latter, being under fourteen years of age, was let go. Brackenbury was remanded this morning for a week. Just prior to being arrested the two were said to be on their way to Waterford. The theft of two bicycles is being charged, as well as carrying concealed weapons and causing damage to schoolhouse property on the St. George road.

Brackenbury is said to be an escaped prisoner from Burwash Farm, having served two months of a year’s sentence before he escaped.

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“Firemen Labor Under Difficulties,” Montreal Star. July 21, 1938. Page 03.

Ste. Genevieve volunteer firemen worked under difficulties last night when fire threatened the whole village after attacking two dwellings, a general store and several sheds and barns.

The upper picture shows a group of volunteers pouring water onto the smoking ruins.

In the lower picture Fire Chief Poirier and Fireman Brunet are attending to the makeshift pump. The Star photographer caught them as they stood knee-deep in water.

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“A Beast For The ‘Pen,’” Kingston Daily Standard. May 21, 1912. Page 04.

Farmer Gets Ten Years and Lashes For Abominable Crime.

Woodstock, Ont., May 21 – John R. McKay, a prominent West Zorra farmer, was sentenced yesterday to ten years in the penitentiary, with ten lashes when he goes in and fifteen near the expiration of the sentence, he having been found guilty on a charge preferred by his wife on behalf of her fifteen year old daughter.

McKay swooned when sentenced, and his wife became hysterical. His mother, aged 79, was also in court, and was greatly distressed. The scene was the most affecting ever witnessed here.

S. G. McKay, K. C., counsel for the defence had put up a strong plea, asking for six months in the common jail in view of the prisoner’s luxurious upbringing, and for the sake of his family.

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“Reeve Weber Heavily Fined,” Toronto Globe. February 25, 1919. Page 02. 

And Gets Month in Jail at Hard Labor for Uttering Sedition

SCATHINGLY DENOUNCED

Magistrate and Judge Alike Rebuke Neustadt German and Warn Him

(Special Despatch to The Globe.)
Owen Sound, Feb. 24 – One month in jail and a fine of $4,500 was the sentence pronounced on Reeve Joseph Weber of Neustadt here to-day. In default of payment of his fine Reever Weber would be imprisoned for three years in the Provincial Penitentiary, but he chose to pay the fine. Besides he has to pay all the costs of the proceedings, amounting to approximately $300.

The trial was held in Owen Sound on February 12 and 13 before Police Magsitrate A. D. Creasor, with N. F. Davidson, K.C., of Toronto, acting for the Crown, and D. O’Connell and F. W. Callaghan of Toronto for the accused.

The charge was laid under the War Measures Act of 1914, whereby Weber was charged with making seditious statements likely to hinder recruiting. It was based on words used by Weber to Arthur Mutton, when he is supposed to have said: ‘The _______ British are licked, and they know it. Before either of my sons go to fight, they will die in the hardware store. If they want any fighting let them come to Neustadt and they will get it.’

Magistrate Creasor found Reeve Weber guilty on this charge and remanded him for sentence. An application for a stated case made by counsel for the accused was withdrawn.

Pleads Guilty on Second Charge
On a second charge before the local Police Court Reeve Weber pleaded guilty to making seditious statements likely to cause disaffection. This also was based on the conversation with Mutton, and on it Weber received a sentence of $4,500 fine and one month in jail, this sentence to be concurrent with the previous one.

In sentencing him Magistrate Creasor said that Reeve Weber was a man born in this country, who had lived here all his life. In times of danger he had used disloyal expressions and had possibly influenced his sons to be disloyal also. When he was through with his sentence the Magistrate hoped that he would remember that everyone living in Canada was supposed to be loyal.

Sentenced Suspended on Other Charge
Reeve Weber also came before Mr. Justice Lennox at the Spring Assizes in Owen Sound this afternoon on four charges. Weber pleaded guilty to one charge and is on suspended sentenced pending his good behavior. The charges against him were the only ones in the docket, and were laid under the Military Service Act.

The first charge was of attempting to resist or impede the operation of the Military Service Act by a written communication to Judge Widdlefield, a member of the local Appeal Tribunal. In this letter Reeve Weber offered to give $500 to patriotic funds if his son, Elmer Joseph Weber, were exempted, and the second charge is of offering a consideration directly or indirectly to a member of an appeal Tribunal. The second indictment was based on written and oral communications by Reeve Weber to secure signatures for his son’s exemption.

Admits Guilt, Stay Granted.
On the first charge of the Widdifield indictment the Grand Jury brought in almost immediately a true bill, and Reeve Weber pleaded guilty. Crown Prosecutor Davidson requested a stay of further proceedings on the second count of this indictment and on the second indictment, and also asked for a suspended sentence. These were granted.

Seething Denunciation.
The denunciation by Mr. Justice Lennox of the Neustadt Reeve was most scathing. He said that disloyalty was one of the gravest offences, and there was no ground or excuse for anyone in Canada being guilty of disloyalty. Reeve Weber was a public man and a leader of the people in his district, yet he was stirring up disloyalty and encouraging his two songs to evade the service of their country. He had also made threats of grave bodily harm. In connection with the war and in defiance of the duties of citizenship, Mr. Justice Lennox said, Reeve Weber displayed some of the worst characteristics of a bad citizen. His father had come to this country to better his condition, and he had prospered here! New citizens were welcomed and encouraged, but they had to behave. The only alternatives were to get in behind the prison bars or to get out of the country. In conclusion the Judge said that if after he was released Reeve Weber was a man of good behavior toward his neighbors and the Corwn his sentence would be suspended. If, however, he showed any intimation of relapsing, he would be brought before a Judge to receive a heavy sentence.

Reeve Most Dejected.
During the rebuke of the Judge Reeve Weber stood in the prisoner’s box with his head bowed, and supported himself with one hand on the railing. He appeared most dejected, both in the Assizes and when receiving his sentence in the Police Court, and his face showed considerable emotion. With hardly a word of his counsel, he was led slowly off to the cells in the county jail.

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“Reever Weber Again Remanded,” Toronto Globe. February 21, 1919. Page 16.

Stated Case Asked For As A Precedent, To Know If Order Retroactive.

(Special Despatch to The Globe.)
Owen Sound, Feb. 20. – Reeve Joseph Weber of Neustadt was again remanded to Monday next when he came up before Police Magistrate Creasor here this morning. At his trial Tuesday and Wednesday of last week he was found guilty of uttering seditious language and remanded for sentence. On Monday he also appears before Mr. Justice Rose of Toronto at the Assizes in this town on four charges under the War Measures and Military Service Acts.

The reason for the further adjournment was that Weber’s counsel, Messrs. D. O’Connell and F. W. Callaghan of Toronto, have applied for a stated case as a precedent. The proceedings against Weber were under an order in Council, and there is some doubt as to whether it is retroactive or not, for the time for the laying of information was up for some months before this order in Council was passed. Bail was taken for the same sum as before, $10,000 personal bond and two sureties of $5,000 each.

Before the train which Reeve Weber was on arrived in Owen Sound, Mrs. Weber called up Chief of Police Foster on long-distance telephone to ask him to meet the train. The Chief assured her that there would be no recurrence of mob law against Weber here, and that he need not fear as to his personal safety.

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“At Osgoode Hall,” Toronto Globe. February 20, 1919. Page 07.

JUDGES’ CHAMBERS.
Before Mulock, C.J.

Rex v. Weber – D. O’Connell, for defendant, moved to change place of trial from Owen Sound to such other place as the court may direct. E. Bayly, K.C., for the Attorney-General. Held that the court cannot on the evidence hold that prisoner cannot have a fair trial in Grey, where the jury will be drawn from a large county of some 60,000 population. Motion refused, but without prejudice to an application for change before the trial Judge. No costs.

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“Pte. Elmer J. Weber Gets 10-Year Term,” Toronto Star. February 5, 1919. Page 04.

Sentence Read Before Battalion at Exhibition Camp To-day.

Standing before his regiment in hollow square and apparently indifferent to his fate, Elmer J. Weber, son of Reever Weber, of Neustadt, Ont., was at the Exhibition Camp today sentenced to ten years servitude on a charge of desertion.

The original sentence passed by the court-martial which took place two weeks ago was fifteen years, but this was reduced by order-in-Council. The sentence was read by Capt. R. A. Plato, Adjutant of the 2nd Battalion, Canadian Garrison Regiment, to which the prisoner belonged. Weber took his sentence without a quiver, and now waits at the Exhibition detention room for the escort to take film to Kingston Penitentiary.

The following is a certified copy of a report of the Committee of the Privcy Council, approved by His Excellency the Governor-General on the 30th January, 1919:

‘The Committee of the Privy Council have had before them a report, dated 27th January, 1919, from the Minister of Militiar and Defence, stating that before a general court-martial held at Torontoon the 14th day of January, 1919, No. 3810998 Private Elmer Joseph Weber, 2nd Battalion, Canadian Garrison Regiment, was tried on the charge of having, when on active service, deserted His Majesty’s service.

Was Flagrant Breach of M.S.A.
‘It appeared from the evidence that this was a particularly flagrant case. The accused lived in a German settlement, and his whole course of conduct from the time the Military Service Act went into operation, indicated determination to evade the military service. He applied for exemption, which was disallowed and appealed. His father, who was in business, with the accused and one other son, got up petitions for his exemption, and under threat of boycott, induced manufacturing firms with which he was dealing, to write to the Military Service authorities on behalf of his son. When exemption was refused, money was furnished the accused whereby he went West and lived there for a long time under an assumed name. He was finally apprehended in the Province of Saaskatchewan. It was clear from the evidence that the accused and his family were the centre of a disloyal German community, and it was a clear case of deliberate desertion. The evidence brought forward on behalf of the accused did not cast any doubt on the truth of the facts above enumerated.’

Reduce Sentence.
‘The court found the accused guilty of the charge, and sentenced him to undergo penal servitude for fifteen years.

‘The Judge-Advocate-General reports that the proceedings are regular, the finding properly made and the sentence authorized by law, and Militia Council is of the opinion that the finding and sentence should be confirmed.

‘The Minister, therefore, recommends accordingly.

‘The committee concur in the foregoing, recommendation, subject to the reduction of the sentence to ten years and submit the same for approval.’

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“Neustadt Reeve Begs For Mercy From Mob,” Toronto Star. January 31, 1919. Page 14.

Joseph Weber Now at Home After Being Ejected From Owen Sound.

Special to The Star.
Owen Sound, Jan. 31 – Reeve Joseph Weber of Neustadt, who was sent out of town last night by an angry mob of returned soldiers and their friends, has reached his home in Neustadt. Evidently Weber proceeded by foot to one of the stations on the Grand Trunk outside Owen Sound and there got aboard the early morning southbound train for Neustadt, for according to a telephone message from taht place he reached there on the train this morning. There was considerable anxiety in Owen Sound as to the whereabouts of the man this morning, as there was a heavy snowstorm during the night, and Weber is a man well up in years. Shallow Lake is the nearest station to Owen Sound, and it is presumed he spent the night there.

Chief of Police W. O. Forster told The Star to-day that he knew nothing of the disturbance until an early hour to-day.

The chief declared that no action would be taken against the citizens. ‘He will be safe from any rough handling, too, when he comes back for his trial next Wednesday,’ declared the chief.

Made to Sing National Anthem.
A mob of returned soldiers and their sympathizers about two hundred strong went to the Comely House where Reever Weber was staying about ten o’clock last night and demanded that he be produced. The crowd got round him and made him kiss the Union Jack and sing the National Anthem. They then decked him out with flags in his hat and invited him to get his grip. He was then escorted by a cheering crowd and marched through the streets toward the Grand Trunk station where he was told to proceed to his home town, Neustadt. There being no train until this morning, Weber appealed to the crowd to be allowed to stay over, or to hire a conveyance to take him but they would not be satisfied by anything less than to proceed at once. Weber started off down the Grand Trunk tracks, grip in hand. Part of the mob followed him a considerable distance to see that he got out of town. When last seen Weber was proceeding on the Grand Trunk tracks in the direction of Neustadt, which is about fifty or sixty miles from here.

The local police were powerless to prevent the mob, but they did not at any time threaten him with personal violence. Weber was very much afraid and during the singing of the National Anthem broke down and pleaded for mercy.

Reeve Weber was arrested here on Tuesday afternoon on two separate warrants charging him with breach of the War Measures Act and the Military Service Act. The request for his arrest came from the headquarters of the Dominion Police of this district and they were executed by P.C. Thomas Carson at the Comely House.

Mr. Weber was taken to the Police office and latter allowed out on bail of $2,000, half of which was given by Reeve Holm, and the other half by Reeve Schenk, of Normandy, and the charges will be heard next Wednesday. Mr. Weber arrived on the noon G.T.R. train on Tuesday and attended the first meeting of the County Council at the Court House. He returned to the Comely House and was placed under arrest.

The arrest of Neustadt’s reeve has caused quite a sensation in town and amongst the county councillors here.

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“Reeve Arrested While At Council,” Toronto Globe. January 30, 1919. Page 14.

Joseph Weber of Neustadt is Accused of Sedition and Impeding M.S.A.

(Special Despatch to The Globe.)
Owen Sound, Jan. 29 – Reeve Joseph Weber of Neustadt was arrested here last night of five charges of using seditious language and of attempting to impede the operation of the Military Service Act. Weber came here to attend the County Council, and was arrested on two arrants after the first day’s session. He is now out on $2,000 bail, funished by Reeve Holm and Ex-Reeve Schank of Normandy, but will come up before Police Magistrate Creasor of Owen Sound on Wednesday next. Witnesses are being called from Neustadt, Hanover, and Harriston, and the case is arousing great interest in this district.

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“An 8-Months Search For A Young German,” Toronto Star. January 24, 1919. Page 02.

Farmer Led Dominion Police Merry Chase – Bush Telegraph in Grey County

Like a revelation from the Secret Service Department was the evidence submitted in Police Court today in the case against E. F. Planz, a young German farmer from Grey County, charged with failure to report under the M.S.A. Magistrate Kingsford sat almost speechless on the bench as he listened to the public prosecutor, W. R. Smyth’s, exposure of an organized system of ’bush telegraphs,’ official and clerical connivance and whosesale exemptions and evasions in the German settlements of Bruce and Grey counties.

Mr. Smyth declared that two Dominion policeman had worked from May until January, and it had cost the Dominion Government nearly $600 to arrest this one individual.

According to the evidence submitted, Planz is the owner of an 80-acre farm in the Neustadt district, that community of German-Canadian families over which Reeve Joseph Weber wields influence. His parents are dead. His sister lives with him at home. When the first call for service came Planz received total exemption as a farmer, but when exemptions were abolished and the 20-22-year class was called he immediately became liable again. Instead of reporting he disappeared.

Eight Months’ Search.
‘It seems incredible,’ your Worship, but it is true,’ said Mr. Smyth, ‘that two Dominion policemen should have been trying from May to January to arrrest this man. His crops were harvested and threshed, and his farm continued to be looked after, but he himself could not be found. The bush telegraph was working almost perfectly. Our disbursements in this case have been between $500 and $600.

‘Under the circumstances I ask for special punishment. If the young man is sent to prison that punishment would fall most heavily on his sister. I, therefore, ask that a very heavy fine be imposed – $1,000. My learned friend has consented to that. Five hundred dollars will be paid in cash and the remainder in two equal installments of $250 between now and next September. In that way we will be partially recompensed for our trouble and outlay in the matter.’

In the course of his exposure, Mr. Smyth stated that Reeve Weber’s total contributions for war purposes were $3, and that, in the interests of patriotism, it had been found necessary to remove a clergyman from the village of Tavistock.

Counsel for the defence agreed that if his client had reported for service at the proper time he would undoubtedly have received farm leave, and would have been now fully discharged. But at the same time, argued the lawyer, a $500 fine would sufficiently cover the offence.

Will Pay by Instalment.
Eventually Magistrate Kingsford remanded the accused on his own bail until the 27th, to see if there were any technical difficulties in the way of receiving a fine by instalments, as proposed.

‘I am astonished at what you have told me,’ said His Worship to Mr. Smyth in conclusion. ‘And you say this was not far from Owen Sound. If the men from Owen Sound had known about it, this sort of thing wouldn’t have lasted five minutes.’

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“Contends Draftee Planned Desertion,” Toronto Star. January 16, 1919. Page 02.

Judge-Advocate Sums Up Case of E. J. Weber Before Court-Martial.

The trial before a general court-martial of Elmer Joseph Weber, son of Joseph Weber, Reeve of Neustadt, charged with desertion from the Canadian forces, was concluded at noon to-day at the Armories, after lasting two days and a half.

Lieut.-Col. J. A. Macdonald, K.C., Assistant Judge Advocate-General of the Toronto Military District, closed the case by reading his charge to the court. His summing up of the case lasted three-quarters of an hour and then the court reserved their judgement. The finding will be sent to Ottawa for decision and if sentence is imposed it will be promulgated later at Toronto.

Lieut.-Col. Macdonald said that Weber was charged with desertion while on active service. ‘This man is charged with being a member of the 2nd C.O.R. and as a soldier was subject to military law, and while on active service deserted His Majesty’s forces. He was a soldier subject to military law from the date of the proclamation of the M.S.A. in October, 1917, but was on leave of absence without pay, according to the Act.’

Regarding Weber’s application for exemption, Lieut.-Col. Macdonald said Weber’s record as a soldier was unbroken under the M.S.A. regulations.

‘Therefore it appears by the M.S.A. that the accused was a duly enlisted solider subject to military law.’

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“Weber Denies Making Disloyal Remarks,” Toronto Star. January 15, 1919. Page 02.

Father of Draftee Accused of Desertion Admits He Did Little for War.

HAS A BIG BUSINESS

His Voluntary Contributions to Patriotic Find Only $3 During War.

Joseph Weber, Reeve of Neastadt, father of Elmer Weber, charged with desertion, was recalled to the witness box at the general court-martial trial of his son for desertion, at the Armories to-day.

Mr. Weber stoutly denied the statements made yesterday by Arthur Mutton and I. K. Lewmarsh, travelers, that he had made any derogatory remarks about the British arms or about Union Government.

In four and one-third years of war Mr. Weber admitted to Mr. N. F. Davidson, K.C., counsel for Minister of Justice, that he had only contributed $3 to patriotic and Red Cross purposes.

‘Was it in 1915 that the British people of Leastadt refused to contribute to the British Red Cross Fund through you as Reeve, because of your nationality?’

‘No – I don’t know,’ replied Mr. Weber. 

‘You know they sent it direct to Dr. Abbot?’ ‘Yes.’

Opposed Patriotic Grant.
‘Isn’t it true you opposed the grant of the County Council to the Canadian Patriotic Fund?’ ‘Yes, in 1916, I did. But other grants I supported.’

‘Because you saw the majority supported it,’ commented Mr. Davidson.

‘Will you tell me what you, your son or any other member of the Weber brothers contributed to patriotic purposes except $3?’

The witness hesitated.

‘You were solicited as reeve of Newstadt council by the Lieutenant-Governor every year of the war,’ said Mr. Davidson.

‘The people could not afford it,’ said Mr. weber.

‘You took the position that your sons were better at home than in the forces?’ ‘That’s so.’

‘How did you help the cause of the allies?’ ‘I paid taxes of $200.’

Didn’t Buy Victory Bonds
‘Your firm could have bought Victory bonds?’ ‘I never bought one,’ said Weber.

‘Any patriotics organization of any kind in Neustadt since the war?’ ‘I don’t know of any exept some knitting done by women. There are some who contribute.’

‘Were you against conscription?’ ‘I don’t know about that.’

‘Then why did you go to Ottawa and Toronto?’ asked Mr. Davidson. ‘The was the purpose of the meetings.’

‘There were 20,000 people there.’

‘Am I correct if I say you were opposed to raising armies by conscription?’

Mr. Weber did not answer.

‘Were you in favor of Canada participating in the war by volunteer enlistment?’ ‘I never objected to it.’

Never Urged Enlistment.
‘Did you suggest to any man to go to the war?’

‘I never advocated it, as I had sons of my own,’ replied Mr. Weber.

‘Did you ever in your store, or in Neustadt, or in Council, say you did not want to see Canada participate in the war?’

‘Nothing like it,’ replied Mr. Weber.

Here, Mr. Dan O’Connell, counsel for Elmer Weber, objected to Mr. Davidson’s cross-examination, as his boy was being tried on a charge of desertion and that Mr. Davidson was trying to show the father was not inspired by high patriotic motives. An argument ensued. Mr. Weber was requested to leave the court, and it was arrived that no examination would take place along this line.

Letters Seeking Exemption.
Regarding letters written to manufacturers to secure assistance for Elmer Weber to get exemption. Mr. Weber admitted that International Harvester was the only firm that gave him a favorable reply.

The letter written to Hon. J. C. Doherty, Minister of Justice, Ottawa, by Arthur Muton, of Mitchell, Ont., traveler for Maxwells, of St. Mary’s, Ont., regarding alleged statements made by Mr. Joseph Weber, was admitted as an exhibit. The letter, which is dated Dec. 28, 1917, is as follows:

‘The Jon. J. C. Doherty,
Minister of Justice, Ottawa, Can.
Dear Sir: The writer is a traveler for Maxwells, Limited, St. Mary’s, Ont. Sometime in October, 1917, I called on a firm in Newstadt, Ont., by the name of Weber and Sons, hardware merchants. Mr. Weber asked me to sign a petition for exemption of his two songs. This I refused on the ground that it would be interfering with the Military Service Act.

A few days later I called at our head office in St. Mary’s and Mr. Maxwell showed me a letter from Weber ordering some goods on condition that they would sign the exemption for his boys. Mr. Maxwell refused and answered him to that effect the same as myself. Of this we have a copy and also Weber’s letter which you can get by asking for.

On December 20, 1917, I called and got something which was hard to take. Weber called me _______. He also said the _______ of British was licked and they knew it, and before either of his boys would go they would die right there in the store. One of the young Weber’s also said he would blow the brains out of the first man to out his head in the store to take him.

Now this is hard medicine to take after my eldest boy, Sergt. A. R. Mutton, No. 475410, paid the supreme sacrifice on Oct. 30, at Pasachendale, and my youngest boy, Pte. Fred Mutton, No. 727107, 58th Battalion, Canadians, was wounded the same date after having been in the trenches one year on his nineteenth birthday.

Yours faithfully,
Sergt. Arthur Mutton,
Mitchell, Ont.’

The accused Weber said he never made a statement to Mr. Mutton that he would shoot anybody who tried to put him in the army.

Had German Blood.
In his address to court, Mr. O’Correll said there could not be any doubt in mind of the court that there were several issues raised in this cases, which might prejudice the trial of the accused. Mr. O’Correll contended the orders-in-Council regarding the Military Service Act are ultra vires. Mr. O’Correll argued that it was only human nature that Weber sought exemption.

‘The case shows that this man, his family, and neighborhood deliberately set themselves against the law to a man,’ said Mr. Davidson.

Mr. Davidson cited to the court the purchase of the farm by Mr. Weber for his son to escape military service.

‘It was a farcial attempt after being trained in business for years,’ commented Mr. Davidson. ‘He was only on the farm two months.’

An adjournment was made till tomorrow morning at 11 o’clock, when Lt.-Col. J.A. Macdonald, judge advocate, will sum up the case.

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“Father Bought Farm To Let Son Evade Act,” Toronto Star. January 15, 1919. Page 05.

Reeve’s Son Was Draftee, But He Was Not Anxious to Fight.

DESERTION CHARGED

Bruce County Man Faces General Court-Martial at the Armories.

Joseph Weber, father of the prisoner, was recalled at the resumption of the court-martial yesterday afternoon, of Elmer J. Weber, charged with desertion after being ordered to report.

‘Do you recollect a notice being sent to your son to report for duty?’ asked Lt.-Col. Biggs, a member of the court.

‘Yes. It was expected. It did not cause any excitement,’ said Mr. Weber.

‘Were you at home when he left?’

‘Yes. There was no reference made as to his journey.’

‘Did you ever encourage your two boys to enlist during the long period of war?’ asked Lt.-Col. Butcher.

‘I did not want them enlist, but I did not say one way or another.’

‘Isn’t that the reason you bought the farm?’

‘Yes – so they wouldn’t have to enlist.’

‘Did you do anything for your son to evade the act?’

‘No.’

Didn’t Want Sons to Enlist
‘Don’t you think, like every loyal and patriotic citizen, you should have seen that one of our sons enlisted?’ asked Lieut.-Col. Butcher, president of the court. 

‘I did not persuade him to enlist,’ stated Mr. Weber.

‘Were your sympathies against your sons aiding in the cause?’

‘The stand I took I did not persuade them to enlist or not to enlist.’

‘Where were you born?’

‘In Bruce County.’

‘We are not trying Mr. Weber, senior,’ broke in Mr. O’Connell, counsel for prisoner.

‘That’s right; I am not being tried,’ said Mr. Weber.

‘Despite all the efforts you made to prevent him from enlisting, such as buying the farm, you say your intentions were not opposed to the boy enlisting?’ asked Lieut.-Col. Macdonald.

‘I did not do anything to prevent him,’ stated Mr. Weber.

Arthur Mutton, of Mitchell, Ont., salesman for the Maxwell Limited, agricultural implements, of St. Marys, Ont. In his visits to Weber’s store, Mr. Mutton said the language among the customers was generally carried on in German.

Were Talking German
‘Was there anything else said?’ ‘I don’t know, they were mostly talking in German.’

‘How is it that you came to contain this in your mind ever since?’ ‘It was implanted there – I could not forget i. I reported it to the authorities,’ said Mr. Mutton.

Mr. Mutton stated he believed that the Weber family enjoyed a respectable reputation at Neustadt.

‘Do you know what official position the father occupied in the village?’

‘Reeve, I believe,’ stated Mr. Mutton.

‘When did you learn they were Germans?’ – ‘The first time I met them.’

Wrote Letter to Firms
In a letter to Maxwells, Limited, Mr. Joseph Weber said in part: ‘All I ask of you is to state that Elmer Weber and Wilfred Weber’s present occupation in taking care of the farmer’s requirements is indispensable, and that you d not make this statement for personal gain, but knowing their need and ability you feel confident that their service in present occupation is of more benefit to the country than serving in uniform for the country’s cause, and trusting you will see your way clear to do me this personal favor. P.S. – You can ship me a 2 1-4 horse-power engine at once, providing you will assist me in obtaining this business; if not, you need not send same at all.’

Wm. I. Newmarsh, traveler for the Canada Cement Co, of Toronto, stated that Mr. Joseph Weber, in the presence of Elmer Weber, the prisoner, said that in October, 1917, just after the M.S.A. became law. ‘I would like to see who would come to take my sons; he would shoot the _____. He said his two sons would not register under the Military Service Act.’

‘I met Mr. Weber and his son in the store; others were present, and they were talking in the German language.’

‘I submit to the court that there has not been any case made out under the charge,’ stated Mr. O’Connell, after the Crown closed their case, in addressing the court.

Robert H. Fortune, of the members of the M.S.A. tribunal at Ayton, was called by the defence. Mr. Fortune said the prisoner was granted exemption.

When Mr. O’Connell produced the certificate of exemption Mr. Davidson objected, stating the appeal had been disallowed by Justice Duff.

Mr. O’Connell said he produced the certificate to show that Weber thought he had permanent exemption and he had no intention of deserting.

The court was adjourned till 10 o’clock to-day.

The cartoon at top is At The Weber Court Martial at the Armories.

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“Draftee Bought Farm Then Wouldn’t Fight,” Toronto Star. January 14, 1919. Page 02.

Elmer J. Weber Faces General Court-Martial on Desertion Charge.

HE WENT OUT WEST

Counsel for Prosecution Says There Was Concerted Action to Avoid the M.S.A.

Charged with being a deserter from the army, in that he failed to report for service, Elmer J. Weber, son of Joseph Weber, Reeve of Neustadt, Grey County, a German community, faced a general court-martial at the armories to-day.

This is the first general court-martial held in Toronto since the armistice was signed, and was presided over by Lieut.-Col. W. P. Butcher, camp commandant at Exhibition Camp.

Weber was a draftee, and was ordered to report for military service at Brantford in 1918. Instead he went to the West and went on a farm near Regina, living under the name of ‘Norman Weller, of Renfrew, Ont.’ He was arrested at Shauravon, Sask., on December 6, handed over to Inspector D. H. Reynolds of the Dominion Police of Ottawa.

N. F. Davidson, K.C., acted for the Minister of Justice, and Capt. I. H. G. Wallace, the Militia Department, while Mr. Daniel O’Connell, K.C., defended Weber. Lieut.-Col. J.A. Macdonald, K.C., acted as judge advocate.

Says Accused Defied M.S.A.
In outlying the case, Mr. Davidson said accused was charged with desertion and had failed to report for duty on May 11, 1918. He was apprehended in the North-west.

‘For a long time past to the act of desertion, namely, from calling out of the class in 1917, there has been a concerted action on the part of the accused, his mother and father and a determined attitude never to submit to military service,’ said Mr. Davidson.

H. Eric Bachell, assistant Ontario registrar of the M.S.A., produced copy ordering Weber to report, showing the registered letter had been received by Weber and that the transportation warrant had been cashed.

D. H. Reynolds, investigating officer, Dominion Police, Ottawa, stated he met Weber at London, Dec. 10, and obtained a voluntary statement from Weber. After it was written out by Reynolds, Webber signed it.

‘I warned Weber that anything that he said might be used against him,’ said Mr. Reynolds. ‘He said he was wrong and glad to tell the whole story.’

The statement said Weber worked at his father’s store at Newstadt until March 1, then went to work ‘on my farm near Newstadt. My father gave me $2,000 to buy the farm. There I thought I could get exemption from military service easier by being employed at farm work. My father told me if I wanted to buy a farm he would give $2,000; $1,000 was paid the following month.

Was Granted Exemption
‘I was granted exemption from military service by the local tribunal at Ayton, Ont., on the ground that I was working at implement business. This exemption was granted in November, 1917, and was cancelled. Somebody in Newstadt must have given me a black eye. I appealed to Justice Duff on Jan. 1, 1918, on the ground that I had bought a farm from a man who was not capable of working a farm, as he was sick. I got a letter from Registrar Wilson that my case was disposed of because appeal had been entered too late.

‘I made up my mind to go west about May 5, 1918, when I received my order to report, as I did not want to join the militia forces, as I thought I was not fit.’

Accused Wasn’t Warned
Than Weber went to Regina and then to Dummore, Alberta, where he obtained farm work. Later he was arrested by the North-West Mounted Police and brought to London, Ont.

To Mr. Daniel O’Connell, counsel for Weber, Inspector Reynolds admitted he did not warn Weber before he made his statement, as he did not think it was necessary. ‘It was absolutely voluntary and given in the best of good will,’ said Inspector Reynolds in examination by Mr. Davidson.

‘There was no attempt at extraction,’ said Reynolds, who said no inducement was offered.

‘The lad was anxious to know what sentence he would get,’ stated Reynolds.

Mr. O’Connell argued that as no warning was given before the statement of the accused was made it was therefore not admissible as evidence.

Wilfred W. Weber, a brother of the accused, stated in the fall of 1917 he and his brother bought over their father’s hardware business in September, 1917. He said both were in Class I. Witness got Category B in his medical examination.

‘Who took an active part in your brother’s exemption?’ asked Mr. Weber.

‘We wrote to some farm implement manufacturers,’ replied Weber.

Mr. Davidson produced letters sent to Wood Wallace and Co., of Hamilton, also a petition from a farmer of Normandy and Carrick Township, asking assistance to secure defendant’s exemption.

Accused Counsel Objects
Mr. O’Connell took final objection to the method adopted by Mr. Davidson in examining the witness. The court ruled that as the witness was hostile Mr. Davidson had a right to cross-examine him. Mr. O’Connell stated he would take steps to have the decision of the court reviewed.

Witness stated he never loaned his category ‘E’ certificate to his brother.

‘What did you do to assist your brother?’ ‘I did nothing – I thought he was going to Brantford to report for service.’

At this stage the witness was warned that he had the protection of the court, except if he made a false statement.

The crown produced a letter written by the accused, from Shanravon, Sask., to his home, whole he was an absentee from the army.

In part it said: ‘You are well aware how hesitatingly I departed, how I despised my voyage into an unknown country thousands of miles away, absolutely no travelling experience commensurate while such a terrific M.S.A. was prevailing.’

Witness stated the letter never was received by the family.

‘My reason for never enlisting was that I was not physically fit. I tried to get out of military service every lawful way I could,’ said witness.

Joseph Weber, called by the Crown, stated he was the father of the prisoner and when he was about to be examined Mr. O’Connor objected and stated the evidence was irrelevant, as the charge was one of desertion, not conspiracy. 

Provided Him With Money
‘Where did your son get the money to travel with?’ asked Mr. Davidson. ‘From me,’ replied Mr. Weber.

‘Where was he going when he left home?’ ‘I don’t know.’

‘How much money did he get from you?’ ‘I gave him about $210,’ stated Mr. Weber. ‘I owed him the money on wages. I sold them the business and in the event of one of them being drafted the business would come back to me. If he had of asked for more money….I guess I would have given him it.’

‘He wouldn’t want much money in the army,’ commented Lieut.-Col. Butcher.

‘No.’

Regarding Weber’s letter saying, ‘you were all aware I was headed for North Bay —’

Mr. Webber claimed he did not know where his so had gone, but he didn’t know that he did not go to Brantford until a week latter.

Mr. Weber said he bought a farm for his son, to save his boy from conscription. ‘That why you did that?’ asked Mr. Davidson. ‘Just like most neighbors did,’ said Mr. Weber.

‘I bought the farm for $7.00 and paid $2,000 – but it is not paid for yet.

Mr. Weber said he did not expect notice of his son being called to the colors until the order-in-Council was passed cancelling exemption of 20-22 classes.

Mr. Weber said he went to Toronto and Ottawa in connection with the farmers’ deputation objecting to the enforcement of the Military Service Act.

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