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Wednesday, 6 July 1921

Senator RUSSELL (Victoria) (VicePresident of the Executive Council) . - I move-

That the definition of "Returned Soldier" be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the following definition: - " Returned Soldier " means any person who (whether before or after the commencement of this Act) has served with satisfactory record in any. Expeditionary Force raised under the provisions of the Defence Act 1903-1918, and includes -

(a)   a member of the Army Medical Corps Nursing Service whois accepted or appointed by the Director-General of Medical Services far service outside Australia; (b)any member of the Naval Forces who has been on active service outside Australia of on a ship of war;

(c)   any person who during any war, lias been employed in the transport service in connexionwith any such Expeditionary Force, and who, while so employed, served in the zone of war; and

(d)   any person who was born in Australia, or resident in Australia within six months prior to enlistment, and who, at any time during any war, served with satisfactory record in an Expeditionary Force raised inthe United Kingdom or in any British Dominion.

The new definition proposed will include nurses. We employ a great deal of female labour in the Commonwealth Service, and there is no reason why we should not give preference to the nurses who did such good work during the war as well as to the men who did such splendid fighting for us. Paragraph c of the proposed new definition will cover men who formed the crews of vessels which rendered war service in getting supplies to our soldiers ; and it will not be forgotten that two vessels of our Fleet were torpedoed during the war, and went down. I think that honorable senators will be disposed to agree to paragraph d of the amendment. We cannot split straws between those who fought in our own Forces and those who served in Forces raised in other parts of the Empire.

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