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Friday, 6 October 1911


Senator ST LEDGER (Queensland) . - The longer this discussion proceeds the more apparent does it become that the Bill is likely to be more or less futile. We might retain clause 5, because it strikes at what is a fraud. Why is it that the Minister gives such attention to military and naval decorations, and brings in a measure to prevent the sale or misuse of them? I regard many scholastic and literary decorations as quite as honorable as, if not more honorable than, the medals which are obtained for good service or for good conduct or for valour in war, military or naval. It is regrettable indeed to see these medals sometimes in the hands of,, unfortunately, pawnbrokers, and at other times legitimately in the hands of' dealers. But, notwithstanding that, no Government in the world has attempted to prevent the sale or pawning of decorations and distinctions.


Senator Pearce - Does the honorable senator wish us to go in for another constitutional alteration ?


Senator ST LEDGER - The Minister is becoming excessively petulant under criticism. If we are going to prevent naval and military decorations from being degraded by the traffic in them, we should also include civil distinctions in the same category.


Senator Rae - Why not include military titles?


Senator ST LEDGER - Because a military title is purely a personal matter, and has no value whatever in the sense in which we are now using that term. For the reasons which I have advanced I shall vote against clauses 3 and 4 of the Bill.







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