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Thursday, 12 November 1914
Page: 511

Senator PEARCE - The answer is -

Thirty-one men were discharged from the Australian Imperial Force for refusing inoculation. The General Officer Commanding, Australian Imperial Force, in notifying their discharge, states : - " Included in the numbers are certain soldiers who refused to submit to vaccination against small-pox or inoculation against enteric. As their presence with the Force would be a source of danger to their comrades, I directed that they should, on definite refusal, be discharged for disobedience of orders. I attach a copy of a circular marked ' B ' which I have issued to all officers commanding troops on transports on the subject of vaccination and inoculation."

The circular referred to reads as under : - " Commanding officers should explain to men the objects with which inoculation against enteric, and vaccination against small-pox, is ordered.

These are two-fold. Firstly, as an individual preventive of two deadly diseases; and, secondly - and of much greater importance - to guard against the spread of infection amongst others.

It is, therefore, the duty of every officer and soldier cheerfully to submit to a simple medical precaution designed to nullify the danger of disease, both to himself and his comrades, and thereby allow the Force to be maintained in the field at its greatest and most effective strength."

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