We Will Not Cease
hospital, which fact was subsequently used against him by the authorities.
The author, father of poet James K. Baxter, states his story without a trace of the hysteria or invective which would be excusable in one who had suffered so much. His book is a calm, logical indictment of a policy which did nothing to induce the Conscientious Objector to change his mind and did nothing in the long run to assist the authorities.
As We Will Not Cease was published in 1939 few copies reached New Zealand before World War II started, and so it is relatively little known in the author's own country. The Blitz of 1941 destroyed all the unsold copies held by the original publisher, Victor Gollancz Ltd.
Three years after the First World War, Archibald Baxter married Millicent Brown, the daughter of John Macmillan Brown, a well-known pioneering Professor of Classics and English at Canterbury College. He continued farming until 1930. A member of the Labour Party from the time of its foundation, he took an active interest in its growth and attended several Labour Party Conferences in Wellington. Mr Baxter and his family made a trip to England and Europe, where he attended the War Resisters' International Conference in Copenhagen in 1937. We Will Not Cease was written in Salisbury in 1937. Part of the source material of the book was available in notes which Mrs Baxter had made at the author's dictation shortly after World War I.
Mr Baxter's elder son, Terence John Baxter, appealed on conscientious grounds against being conscripted for military service in World War II. His appeal, however, was dismissed, and he was imprisoned in military defaulters' detention camps until the war ended.
Archibald Baxter, who is now 81, lives in Otago, New Zealand.