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Thursday, 19 July 1906

Mr WATKINS (NEWCASTLE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The statement was made that long-service medals were not granted to members of the Naval Brigade, because they were not given to the Navy in England. But I always considered that that reply was unsatisfactory, because in Australia the Naval Brigade is practically a part of our land defence Forces. There is no reason whatever why the members of it should be differently treated. Even as regards England, it appears to me to be ridiculous that a long-service and goodconduct medal should be given to one branch of the Defence Forces, and withheld from theother. The last time' I brought up this matter, I was informed that it had been referred to the Attorney-General for his opinion as to whether we could institute an Australian long-service medal. Nearly twelve months have since elapsed, and while I admit that the Attorney-General presides over an important and busy Department, still, a year is a reasonable time to allow for an answer to be given to a question of that description.

Mr Isaacs - I have not had it.

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