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Friday, 29 March 1946

Mr FRASER (Eden) (Monaro) . - I ask the Prime Minister (Mr. Chifley) to give sympathetic re-consideration to a request that has been made by the representatives of Protestant churches at Bowral, and others, that a concert which has been arranged in aid of the Security Loan, in which a large number of children will take part, be held on a day other than next Sunday afternoon, as at present planned. This matter has come to my attention as the result of a public meeting held at Bowral a few days .ago at which representatives of the various churches were present. A long telegram was sent to me conveying this protest. Since then, a conference has taken place at Bowral between the protestors, the local municipal council iri its capacity as the Security Loan committee for the district, and the district loan organizer. Major Beveridge. I understand that the outcome of the conference was unsatisfactory to those who made the protest and they are persisting with it. The question of the merits or demerits of Sunday observance does not appear to me to enter into the matter. The point at issue, in my opinion, is the desirability of paying respect to the opinion of a considerable section of the community, if that can be done without doing harm to the Security Loan campaign. The whole object of the campaign is to obtain the united support of all sections of the community for the raising of money which is urgently needed by the Government. Since a considerable section of the community considers that an action taken to promote- the campaign offends principles for which it has fought over a long period and which it holds very dear, I ask that, even at this late hour, action 'be taken, if possible, to enable the concert to be held on another day.

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