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Thursday, 24 September 1942
Page: 928

Mr HUTCHINSON (Deakin) (2:58 AM) . - I rise to correct a misinterpretation or misrepresentation of my speech by the Minister for the Army (Mr. Forde). He would not have made it but for an interjection by the honorable member forHenty (Mr. Coles). I do not mind what the honorable member for Henty says ; that honorable gentleman has a habit of overthrowing and trampling rather heavily on his principles. But I consider that the remarks of the Minister ought to be corrected. He will remember that I was referring to the Hirings Administration, and pointing out the delay that occurs in arriving at a settlement of claims. I mentioned damage that had been done to certain properties in the Seymour area by American troops and others.What I said is perfectly true. But I made it plain that the landowners who had suffered damage had no bad feelings concerning the American troops. They said, " These boys are in our country to do a job, and cannot be expected to worry about things like this. They are here to manoeuvre and train, and we want them to do so ".

Mr Coles - That is not what the honorable member said.

Mr HUTCHINSON - I said something very like that, but I also said that the land-owners' view was : " This is something for Australia, and we should not suffer because we happen to be in the particular area ". Those were almost my identical words. If the Minister in the near future will leave the train at Seymour, I shall take pleasure in arranging for him to be met by some of these land-owners. I should like him to go out a few miles to Bjorkeston's property. There he will see exactly what I have told him, although it occurred some time ago.

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