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Friday, 6 October 1911

Senator MCDOUGALL (New South Wales) . - 1 move -

That the following words be inserted after the word "Australia": - "Provided that nothing in this section shall prevent the disposal of such medal to the Commonwealth Government."

I am very much in favour of this Bill. I have always considered it very objectionable to have medals or decorations gained for military services, or in sports, hanging up in a pawnbroker's shop. I hold that when a man receives a decoration of this kind it is of value only to himself, and should be of value to no one else. To meet the feat of some of my honorable friends that the owner of a decoration, if in dire necessity, may require to exchange it for some earthly comfort, I propose to give him the privilege of returning it to the Commonwealth Government, who will give him value for it. I have no objection to men who are hungry or bootless or sockless, disposing of these decorations to relieve their necessities. They may be of no more use to them in such circumstances than the possession of gold is to a man who is lost in the bush. But I think that in such a case the Government might be willing to purchase such decorations at whatever value they thought proper to place upon them.

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