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Thursday, 26 July 1906

Senator MACFARLANE (Tasmania) . - The subject with which this Bill deals has occupied the attention of eminent military authorities in Great Britain. Lord Roberts and Lord Wolseley are amongst the distinguished officers who have endeavoured to promote temperance in the Army, I was under the impression when this measure was first introduced that both of those officers were in favour of the abolition of canteens. But the evidence given before the Select Committee of the House of Commons, quoted by Senator Turley - to whom we are greatly indebted for much information - shows that they are really endeavouring to improve the recreations of the British soldier, not to abolish regimental canteens. For that reason, and others, I find myself in a difficulty about the Bill. Personally, I think that it' would be Better to refer it to a Select Committee. But if we are going to deal with it, my difficulty is that the CEil 1 would prevent men in barracks from getting the refreshment to which they have been accustomed, while it would allow others to enjoy what they want. For that reason, I think we ought to be cautious. In another place the Bill was, I think, passed by a large majority.

Senator Millen - There was no vote. They suspended the Standing Orders and rushed it through. ,

Senator Mulcahy - No consideration was given to it, as a matter of fact.

Senator MACFARLANE - I think that we ought to hesitate before passing the Bill. It should be referred to a Select Committee.

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