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Thursday, 28 April 1921

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Repatriation) . - I move -

That ;the Senate .do now .adjourn.

I desire to take this opportunity of referring to an incident which occurred in the presence of a number of honorable senators I now see around me, when I made a statement that amongst those who had advocated peace by negotiation during the progress of the war was Senator Gardiner. That honorable senator, retorted in a way which was tantamount to calling me a liar.

Senator Gardiner - I did.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable senator has not departed from that - statement, , and I think :that under the circumstances I should be allowed to read a few brief extracts from a speech delivered by Senator Gardiner in this chamber, on the 13th June, 1918. My quotations will be brief when compared with the length of the speech delivered. I shall give quotations, 60 far. as I can, which are not affected by anything which precedes or follows them, but which in themselves are sufficiently concise and definite to support the 'statement which I made. The first quotation reads-

We 'have had the Labour party's platform, in which 'there has-.been put forward their proposal for peace by negotiation.

Further ion he said1 -

Not only is peace by negotiation within 'the realm of practical politics, but it is pressing for consideration.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - What date was that?

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - On the 13th June, 1918. Later on he said -

If, .there were an armistice to discuss peace, Britain, France, Italy, America, and the smaller nations- would say to Germany, " If you do not accept just >and honorable terms of peace, the war must continue."

These - expressions by Senator Gardiner were not continuous, and I -am merely selecting them .as I proceed. , Later he said- r

What objection would there be if the Peace Delegates sat around the table to-morrow, and looked for a just and honorable -ending to the war? What if there was a German, peace agent on one side of the table, and an Allied peace agent on the other side ?

Here is another -

The second possible ending is peace by negotiation. If it came to-morrow, it would come without loss of dignity or loss of position.

Senator MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - But with loss of safety.

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