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Thursday, 13 May 1915

Senator STORY (South Australia) . - I support tie motion, and, like Senator Needham, I would support it more strongly if by this means we could inflict some punishment upon the enemy. In the Melbourne papers of last week there appeared a cablegram from London, setting out that seventy British firms had been notified that their German branches had been seized and their property confiscated. Now, we have all over Australia branches of German firms still doing business, and I am sorry to say that Australians are trading with them. Some of the most magnificent blocks of offices in Melbourne are the property of German companies, and I have heard on good authority that the German Kaiser himself has a very large interest in the three largest blocks of offices in Queen and Collins streets. He is the largest shareholder in the companies concerned. It is not unfair to ask the Government to confiscate such property. It would only be fair retaliation for Australia, as well as other parts of the British Dominions, to go as far as the German nation is going, by confiscating the property of British companies in Germany. I should support, with the greatest pleasure, a proposal by the Government to confiscate all property that could be traced to the possession of that mad dog of Europe, the German Emperor.

Question resolved in the affirmative, honorable senators standing in their places.

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