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Wednesday, 14 October 1914

Mr McGRATH (Ballarat) .- I intend to vote against this motion, because I feel that there has been no call in Australia for the proposed vote of £100,000 to Belgium. I support all that the Prime Minister and the Leader of . the Opposition have said regarding the bravery of the Belgians. I am sure that we all recognise what they have done; but, at the same time, we cannot forget that charity beginsat home. We have a call from our own people in Australia today, and there is a demand that the Government should do something towards finding employment and food for them. In the city which I represent I saw 500 men begging for work, and during the present week many women have told me that they and their children are starving. While we are faced with that position, I am not prepared to vote for a grant to the people of any other country. Our own people should have the first call upon our finances. The Government have not come forward with any proposition to deal with the unemployed question, and I am not going to vote for this motion. I do not object to assistance being given to the people of Belgium after the needs of our own have been provided for; and I therefore move, as an amendment -

That after the figures "£100,000" the following words be inserted - ''shall not be granted until definite propositions have been put forward by the Government to cope with unemployment and destitution in Australia."

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