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Wednesday, 11 November 1914

Senator BLAKEY (VICTORIA) - I desire to ask the Minister of Defence whether it is a fact that thirty men have been returned from Albany who were members of the first Australian Imperial Expeditionary Force because, after they had been vaccinated upon one arm, they refused to be vaccinated on the other?

Senator Millen - Was the first operation successful ?

Senator BLAKEY - Yes. These men. are returning here with arms like footballs. If what I have asked be a fact, will these men be eligible to volun- teer for the third or second Expeditionary Forces, and will thev be deprived of any of their pay?

Senator PEARCE - Reports have been received concerning a number of men who have been sent back, and those reports assign reasons why they have been sent back. The reasons are not those which are indicated in the honorable senator's question. If he will give notice of his question, I will furnish replies in detail.

Senator BLAKEY asked the Minister of Defence, upon notice -

1.   As the General Officer Commanding has ordered vaccination of the troops against both "typhoid and small-pox, and as there are other diseases for which medical men recommend inoculation, including rheumatism, tuberculosis, scarlet fever, carbuncle and similar infections, syphilis, gonorrhoea, pneumonia, meningitis, catarrh, cholera, human glanders, -diphtheria, &c, will the General Officer Commanding order inoculation of all troops for each of these as well as for small-pox and typhoid?

2.   Will these inoculations safeguard the physical health of the force or debilitate it?

3.   Can the General Officer Commanding assure the Minister that two or more different inoculations will not bo mutually destructive, and that, when fully carried out as above suggested, the internal war in the constitution of each soldier will not be more destructive than the German bullets?

Senator PEARCE - The Acting Director-General of Medical Services has furnished me with the following replies : -

1.   For precaution against diseases mentioned other than typhoid and small-pox, inoculation is not advised.

2.   In some cases they would undoubtedly protect the health of troops for a varied time.

3.   Inoculation to prevent typhoid, and vaccination against small-pox, are not antagonistic. These diseases destroyed more soldiers in the South African war than were killed by bullets.

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