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Wednesday, 18 November 1914

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister of Defence) . - I ask the leave of the Senate to read a statement.

Leave granted.

Senator PEARCE - I have laid on the table papers, relating to the support offered by the Princes and peoples of India in connexion with the war, that were presented to the Imperial Parliament by command of His Majesty, and, in connexion with them, I wish to make the following statement -

Public attention is desired to the paper No. 4 (pages 10 to 12) containing a r6sum6 of the proceedings of the Legislative Council of India. The sitting was remarkable for the unsolicited expressions of loyalty from the members. The Council unanimously carried the following resolution : -

The members of this Council, as voicing the feeling that animates the whole of the people of India, desire to give expression to their feelings of unswerving loyalty and enthusiastic devotion to their King-Emperor, and an assurance of their unflinching support to the British Government.

They desire, at the same time, to express the opinion that the people of India, in addition to the military assistance now being afforded by India to the Empire, would wish to share in the heavy financial burden now imposed by the war on the United Kingdom, and request the Government of India to take this view into consideration, and thus to demonstrate the unity of India with the Empire.

Mr. Bauerjee, supporting the resolution, used these words -

They desired to tell the world, the enemies of England, and all else whom it might concern, that their loyalty was not lip deep, but that behind the serried ranks of one of the finest armies of the world were the vast and multitudinous races and peoples of India bound together as one man.

The support of both Houses of the Imperial Parliament was necessary in order that the cost of the Indian expedition might be made a charge against Indian revenues. Mr. Asquith, in moving for that approval, said - " I am sure we should not be giving expression to what every one of us feels if we did not couple with its acceptance an acknowledgment, sincere and heartfelt, of the spontaneous and splendid assistance which our great Dependency of India is giving us."

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