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Labour leaders imprisoned for speaking out against conscription

Labour leaders were particularly strident critics of conscription, and many were convicted for making ‘seditious utterances’ after the passage of new War Regulations in December 1916. This photograph of the 1914 conference of the Social Democratic Party (a forerunner of the modern Labour Party) includes seven prominent labour figures imprisoned during the war.

Left to right: Patrick Charles Webb, imprisoned April-July 1917; Frederick Riley Cooke, imprisoned December 1916-September 1917; Robert Semple, imprisoned December 1916-September 1917; Peter Fraser, imprisoned December 1916-December 1917; Hiram Hunter, imprisoned 8-27 May 1918; James Thorn, imprisoned December 1916-September 1917; Thomas Brindle, imprisoned December 1916-December 1917. 



Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: MS-Papers-0998-4-1
Photographer: Frederick Nelson Jones
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any reuse of this image.

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Labour leaders imprisoned for speaking out against conscription, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated