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Wednesday, 15 April 1914

Senator LONG (TASMANIA) - I desire to ask the Minister of Defence if his attention has been called to the following paragraph, which was published almost simultaneously in a number of newspapers throughout Australia -

Perth, Wednesday.

The following cable message to Sir Edward Carson has been despatched on behalf of a number of Ulster sympathisers, who also propose forming an Ulster Association in this State:- " West Australian Unionists guarantee £1,000, and more if required, to support you in resisting Home Rule. Also prepared to send contingent of volunteers."

I desire to know if this paragraph has beenbrought under the notice of the Minister, and whether any action has been taken in regard to it. If not, is it intended to take any action against those persons who propose to raise a contingent of volunteers - an action in direct conflict with section 118 of the Defence Act which reads -

Any person who induces or attempts to in duce any other person to enlist or engage to serve in any other naval or military force the raising of which has not been authorized by the Governor-General shall, upon conviction, be liable to imprisonment with or without hard labour for any period not exceeding six months.

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