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Thursday, 3 December 1959


Mr DRUMMOND (New England) . - I support the suggestion of the honorable member for Wilmot (Mr. Duthie). I know that certain difficulties hedge this matter, but I want to mention to the House one outstanding instance of a man who was the son of a Japanese lady and an Englishman, although in this case there is no suggestion that he was born out of wedlock. His record is outstanding. I refer to the late Lieutenant Wykheam Freame, who is better known as Sergeant

Wykheam Freame. He had a Japanese mother and an English father. Wykheam Freame was the first man in the Australian Army to win the distinguished conduct medal in the 1914-18 war. He was a brilliant linguist and was a great asset to Australia. When Sir John Latham represented Australia as an ambassador in Japan, Wykheam Freame. commissioned as a lieutenant, was attached to his staff as a special intelligence officer. Because of his knowledge of languages, especially of the Japanese language, he was most valuable to Australia, when not many Australians could speak or understand Japanese. Unfortunately, partly as a result of his war experiences and partly because of the effects of a germ which he caught, he was invalided back here and then died. I just mention those facts because the question of children of mixed birth is under review.

It is well for us to remember the debt that we owe to men such as Wykheam Freame. I was told by Sir John Latham of an extraordinary exploit by this man on Gallipoli, when he was captured whilst scouting behind the lines of the Turks. He was being escorted to a prison camp by seven Turkish soldiers. By pretending to be exhausted, he put the Turks off guard, and then, producing a concealed revolver, he shot six of them and bayoneted another one, and got back to his own lines. He was a brilliant soldier. I think Australia would not be the poorer if it definitely accepted a fair share of its responsibility in this matter. I support the views of the honorable member for Wilmot. I have no doubt that we could find other cases just as remarkable as the one that I have just quoted.







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