Effect of Second World War
The period of the Second World War and its immediate aftermath presents a mixed picture of RSA activities. With the experience behind them of the repatriation of First World War veterans, the leadership cooperated closely with governmental bodies in the development and operation of a comprehensive rehabilitation policy. In 1940 the NZRSA (which came to stand for Returned Services' Association in recognition of the enlarged contribution in the Second World War of New Zealand naval and air forces, as well as of the mercantile marine, the men of which, if they served in foreign waters, were also eligible for membership) strongly urged the introduction of military conscription and undoubtedly expedited it. In 1942, after RSA representations, tenancy legislation was amended in the interests of men abroad on active service. At the same time the RSA attitude towards conscientious objectors seemed attuned to the sensibilities of an earlier generation and by the end of the Second World War many people thought it illiberal.