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Thursday, 26 November 1936

Senator DUNCAN-HUGHES - Although they do not solicit funds, they require them.

Senator HARDY - In this connexion I wrote to the general secretary of the boy scout movement in New South Wales, who replied as follows: -

It is true that the New South Wales Branch of the Boy Scout Association has abstained from soliciting aid from either the State or the Federal Government so far as is possible, because it was felt that in the state of financial stringency through which Australia has been passing every institution, no matter how wide its sphere, or benevolent its intentions, should endeavour to be self-supporting. My association, however, has experienced considerable embarrassment at times awing to the great demand for the extension of its activities, which could not be given effect to because of the need for additional money. In these circumstances, I am positive that I voice the feeling of the executive council of the movement in this State when I say that we would not only gladly welcome, but warmly appreciate arid profitably utilize, any grant which the Commonwealth Government could make available.

It is not necessary for me to emphasize the value of this movement to Australia or the very great work which it does in training our youth to be really good citizens. The extent of the movement is not generally recognized. The total number of scouts in the Commonwealth is between 60,000 and 70,000.

Senator Collings - I rise to order. Is Senator Hardy in order in discussing the boy scout movement generally? Is this committee to be treated to a dissertation on the boy scout movement? If so, will you, Mr. 'Chairman, agree to hear evidence in rebuttal?

The CHAIRMAN - I think that Senator Hardy is getting away from the item ; I think that he knows it, too. The item itself refers to assistance for the boy scout movement.

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