Nicholson: That man's [Saito] the worst commanding officer I've ever come across. Actually, I think he's mad...Blackmail...
Clipton: I know, sir. He means it. I'm sure he does. It's a question of face, pure and simple. He can't give in.
Nicholson: It's still blackmail.
Clipton: Sir, you can't stand much more of this. And wouldn't the officers be better off working than suffocating in that hole? The men are doing a wonderful job. They're going as slow as they dare. But Saito has cut their food rations. And if he makes the sick men work, well, they're going to die. That's all there is to it.
Nicholson: Yes Clipton, I understand, truly. But don't you see. It's a matter of principle. If we give in now, there'll be no end to it. No...I'm adamant. I will not have an officer from my battalion working as a coolie!
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