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Wednesday, 12 May 1965

Senator McCLELLAND (New South Wales) . - I wish to divert attention from clause 19, sub-clause (3.) for one moment to draw the attention of the Minister for Defence (Senator Paltridge) to clause 19, sub-clause (2.) (c) which states - (2.) Nothing in the last preceding subsection prevents -

(c)   a member of the family of a person upon whom a service decoration has been conferred, or a banker or other person to whom the decoration has been entrusted for safe-keeping--

I emphasise the following words - having the decoration in his possession.

I now draw the Minister's attention to subclause (5.) of the same clause which states - (5.) A person shall not -

(a)   unless he is lawfully entitled to wear a service decoration (proof of which lies upon him), buy, wear or make use of that decoration. .

I think it is common knowledge and common practice so far as Anzac Day services are concerned, for the sons and daughters of deceased ex-servicemen to take the place of the deceased in a march and wear the deceased's medals and decorations. Yet, by the provision of thus Bill that practice would seem to be a breach in the future.

Senator Wright - That is not so.

Senator MCCLELLAND - Well, that is my understanding of the clause and whether I be right or wrong I will seek clarification of the matter because it is significant to me that the Bill contains the words " having the decoration in his possession ", in other words, having them for safe-keeping but not for public display. Because this is a common practice which is creeping into such ceremonial occasions as Anzac Day services, I would like the Minister to clarify his point.

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