Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Wednesday, 25 November 1914

Senator STORY (South Australia) . - I should not have spoken again but for the severe way in which Senator Pearce dealt with my amendment, characterizing it as a subterfuge. I as: sure him that I moved it with the best intention, being just as sincere in my desire for the welfare and well-being of the Expeditionary Forces as he or the temperance organizations which have circularized us. We cannot prevent the men from drinking merely by making it difficult for them to get drink. As Senator Keating said, we have heard to-night a number of total abstinence lectures that would have answered admirably if addressed from a public platform to a number of people who are in the habit of indulging to excess; but the question we have to decide is whether it is better for the soldiers to have beer supplied in the camps under regulation, or compel them to go outside and get it without regulation. Senator Pearce referred to the difficulties that would arise, particularly in. telling the age of the men in camp; but the Defence authorities have this information. There might be a little inconvenience in discriminating between citizen soldiers of twenty years of age and those of twenty-one. My object in moving the amendment to the proposed new clause is to protect these young men during their first year's experience of camp life. If the Minister is consistent in his desire to safeguard their interests he should endeavour to amend the Defence Act by making it illegal for any hotelkeeper to supply a soldier in uniform with liquor.. That would be far more effective in preventing intemperance than would the establishment of dry canteens.

Senator Watson - It would not be a. bad idea to add that to the amendment.

Senator STORY - I am so anxious to┬╗ protect our young soldiers that if the Minister will move in the direction I have suggested I will support him. But it is utterly useless for him to say that only a dry canteen shall be established in camp, whilst men are permitted to obtain, outside very much inferior liquor to that with which they would be supplied by the authorities. I have submitted my amendment absolutely in the interests of temperance. I believe that temperance in all things is good, and that the best way to insure it in our military camps is for "the authorities themselves to supply the men with good liquor under proper regulations. It is idle to prohibit the use of intoxicants in camp whilst allowing men to obtain it outside, and thus to become exposed to other temptations which assail young men when they enter hotels and are served with drink by very charming young ladies.

Suggest corrections