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Friday, 25 November 1938

conscription campaign. Another generation has grown up since then, and he will be able to put over exactly the same stuff. The only difference will be that, instead of having Earl Kitchener's photograph on the posters, it will be his own. Everywhere the walls will be placarded with the announcement, " Your country needs you ". Once more the young men will be urged to get into khaki. The recruiters will again be calling the men dirty shirkers, and hiders behind women's skirts. When war does break out, they will again say to the young men, " Go and fight, and we will look after you. When you come back we will see that you get everything. We will make this country fit for heroes to live in. Go and fight for democracy in this war to end war ".

Over 300,000 men responded to that call, and went to the war. They went to fight for democracy, to make Australia a better country than it was before they went away, and to-day the hospitals and institutions are filled with soldiers who are unable to get pensions. There is not one honorable member in this House who does not receive, day after day, appeals from returned soldiers asking him to make representations to the Repatriation Department for a pittance to keep them going. I know of men who had one leg shattered at the war, so that now the other leg, from constant using, has given way; yet, when they apply to the authorities, they are told that the condition of the leg is not due to war service, and that they are not- entitled to treatment. I have no doubt that the Minister for Defence (Mr. Street) has himself received hundreds of letters from returned soldiers asking him to intercede with the department on their behalf. Every time the Labour party tries to amend the Repatriation Act we are outvoted. The Labour party declares that the promises made to the soldiers who went to the last war should be honoured.

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