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Wednesday, 14 October 1914

Sir JOHN FORREST (Swan) . - This is not, perhaps, an occasion when we can advantageously do much speaking, but I should like to join with the Prime Minister and those who have spoken in expressing the greatest sympathy and respect for the people of Belgium, and our great sorrow at the terrible trouble and dangers which, without any cause so far as they are concerned, have come upon them. It seems monstrous that a peaceful nation, without giving offence, should be invaded and have its cities destroyed and its people massacred because they are not willing to break faith with other nations. The object the Government and the people of this country have, in making this gift, is to show that, although we are far away from the scene of these terrible doings, still we are in deep sympathy with those who are suffering so much. Being so far away, and, apparently, living in comparative safety, I am afraid we do not sufficiently realize the great disaster that has befallen our own and other nations involved, and especially the gallant nation of Belgium. I do not know that I can say more than to express my complete accord with the motion, and my great sympathy and regard for those brave people.

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