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Friday, 21 May 1915

Mr JENSEN - I should like to inform the House, in reply to this question, that it is impossible for the Defence Department to keep everything up to date. Every man at the front is fighting for his life. Those who are wounded are placed on board ship as quickly as possible, but it is impossible to get information straight away from the seat of war. Honorable members may picture to themselves what is going on where everybody is fighting for life, and where we are outnumbered to the extent of ten to one. There is no time to attend to little details of this sort. Honorable members must see that the work at the Dardanelles is of such a terrible nature that it is almost impossible to get a cable sent here concerning any one particular soldier. I hope honorable members will not be unreasonable in this matter, notwithstanding that they are in receipt of letters from their constituents regarding sons and husbands at the front.

Mr Joseph Cook - Do you intend the statement to go to the public that the enemy has ten men to our one?

Mr JENSEN - We hear that 50,000 odd Turks have been sent back as wounded, and we know how many men we have fighting at the front. However, what I want to point out to honorable members is that it is impossible for any person who sends a cable to the front to expect a reply within twenty-four or forty-eight hours, because everything there is so disturbed.

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