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Thursday, 16 November 1939

Maher, who pleaded guilty to having broken into a store at Richmond and stolen a quantity of groceries, was sentenced to six months' imprisonment, to date from January 6.

Maher said he had only stolen food for his two children and their mother, who was expecting another. He had been camped in a tent with the mother and the children about 18 miles from the nearest police station, and had tried to get work, but the bush fires and heat wave had ruined everything in the district. "1 could not see the children starving,"he said. "1 did not take the goods for personal gain. There was a lot of valuable stuff that I. could have stolen and sold afterwards."

His Honor said there was little doubt that Maher had committed the robbery to obtain food.

This happened in Australia, and these are the men to whom the Government is appealing to take up arms and fight on foreign battlefields in the defence of thu lands of other people. As an inducement it is offering them5s. a day.

Let me now deal with the attitude of the Government to those unfortunate children of the unemployed whose parents are unable to provide for them. Here is a newspaper extract which tells something of their condition -

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