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Wednesday, 11 December 1912


Senator RAE (New South Wales) . - I desire to bring under the notice of the Minister of Defence a statement that was made by letter to me to-day concerning his Department. It is made in a letter which I received from the president of a body known as the Australian Freedom League, which exists for the purpose of trying to secure the abolition of the compulsory sections of the Commonwealth Defence Act. I have no sympathy whatever with that object, but that does not affect the right of people to organize for that purpose if they think fit. The letter states that the body have been holding meetings in furtherance of their object in and around Sydney, and that at a meeting held last Friday at Kogarah, one of the suburbs of Sydney, the Area Officer for the district was present, and his conduct was such as to threaten a breach of the peace.


Senator Pearce - Does it give the name of the officer?


Senator RAE - No; but the writer's name is appended, and the Minister is welcome to the letter. The - letter states that they would like to know if the officer interfered with their meeting with the approval of the Minister of Defence. It is quite certain that the officer did not, but I should like the Minister to make inquiry.







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