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Friday, 6 October 1911

Senator DE LARGIE (Western Australia) -35j: - I think that the set of conditions referred to by Senator Gardiner is one which we need not bother about very much in Australia. Whilst there may have been veterans "who have been brought to sore straits and have parted with their medals to pawnbrokers for small sums, I think that such a position is not likely to arise in Australia. When any member of our Defence Force who has earned a medal is no longer able to make a living, he will be provided with an old-age pension.

Senator Millen - A man may get a medal long before he is entitled to an oldage pension.

Senator DE LARGIE - These men are not likely to be in such straits before they are entitled to old-age pensions that they cannot earn a living. We have already made provision to meet cases of the kind referred to, and, therefore, I see no force in the contention of Senator Gardiner. But I think that we ought to have some means to prevent the trafficking in these medals which goes on simply because they are curios, or because some vain per son wants to purchase a medal and use it for his self-glorification, and pretend that he is the rightful owner of it.

Senator Millen - You can prevent the wearing of such medals without stopping the sale of them.

Senator DE LARGIE - This is one of the methods by which you will prevent the improper wearing of medals. If a man cannot purchase medals, how can he wear them?

Senator Millen - There is a sep'arate clause dealing with that.

Senator DE LARGIE - I think that both clauses are absolutely necessary. In my judgment, the Bill is framed on right lines. I could quite understand the contention of Senator Gardiner if we had not made provision to prevent the sort of thing to which he has referred, namely, that a man should be reduced to such straits that he might find it necessary to sell a medal or other decoration which he possessed to buy food.

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