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Thursday, 29 October 1964


Senator WRIGHT (Tasmania) .- I wish to comment again on the Gallipoli pilgrimage. Senator Mattner has referred to this matter and the Minister has made a statement in reply to earlier representations. I appreciate as much as anyone does that somebody had the prescience to remodel Anzac Parade at Canberra so that it will be ready for the celebration next year of the 50th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli. This is a grand national contribution to the commemoration and it is quite timely; but the Minister claimed that the proposed pilgrimage is being left solely to the Returned Servicemen's League. I sought to convey that it was an opportunity of such significance that the Government ought to see that it is a national pilgrimage and that those who wish to participate are assisted. I am not going to try the Minister's patience further on this subject. Senator Mattner has brought to the attention of the Senate the fact that the cost is deterring individual interest. I believe that each person who is to attend is expected to be able to raise about £1,000. 1 believe that the Government can recreate national morale and spirit for defence by recognising this occasion in a personal way.

The Committee discussed at some length the expenditure of £750,000 on advertising for recruits for the Army. If scholarships were offered - 10, if you like, or 20 - to the most promising recruits in the Army, or to soldiers in their second or third year of service, and they were given the privilege of accompanying this pilgrimage, it is not possible to tell what contribution that would make through an opportunity to participate in the traditions of the Australian Army. I believe it would do more towards the creation of a real spirit for recruitment in the defence Services than half of the expenditure on advertising for recruitment that the Committee discussed last evening. I will not labour the point, because I intend to take up the matter in a more personal way with some of our colleagues so that the cause may be advanced.







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