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Thursday, 21 May 1970


Mr NIXON (Gippsland) (Minister for the Interior) - I move.

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill is to enable the commemoration at the Australian War Memorial of all Australians whose deaths are attributable to any war or warlike operations in which Australian forces have participated. The present Australian War Memorial Act 1962-1966 does not enable the Board of Trustees of the War Memorial to commemorate non-service personnel, as section 6 of the Act states that the War Memorial established by the Australian War Memorial Act 1925 is continued in existence as a Commonwealth Memorial for Australians who have died on or as a result of active service. These existing provisions of the legislation are restrictive as they do not permit the commemoration of those Australians who served Australia either in non-service occupations related to a war or warlike operations in which Australian forces have participated or in other forces allied to Australia.

Representations in support of the proposal were received from members of Parliament, and from merchant seamen's associations. The Board of Trustees of the War Memorial supports the amendment to the Act which will enable the commemoration, in particular, of members of the Australian Merchant Navy, civilians who served with Australian forces, Australians who served in the forces of other Commonwealth countries and Australians who served with allied forces. The form of words proposed by the Bill would amend section 6 of the Act by extending the defined purpose of the War Memorial to cover all Australians who have died in or as a result of activity connected with any war or warlike operations in which Australians have been on active service. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Daly) adjourned.







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