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Thursday, 12 October 1911

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - I desire to support the argument which has been advanced by Senator Rae. If we accept the amendment we shall have made one clause say that a person may do what another clause declares he may not do. If we wish to kill the measure let us accomplish our object by a straight-out vote. But do not let us introduce amendments which will have the effect of making the measure appear even more ridiculous than it is. The amendment which we are now asked to insert is in contravention of the provisions of a previous clause. It means that there may be circumstances under which a medal or military decoration may be transferred. Yet the previous clause provides for no circumstances under which such a transfer may take place. I use the word " transfer," because it covers the operation of giving and of receiving. The amendment, if adopted, will make the clause read -

A person shall not buy, or receive in exchange, or receive by way of pledge or otherwise for valuable consideration, any decoration, &c.

That means that, if there be no valuable consideration, exchange may take place. In other words, it may be parted with by way of gift. But clause 3 provides -

A person being or having been a member of the King's Naval or Military Forces or of the Defence Force shall not sell, exchange, pledge, or otherwise dispose of, any decoration conferred upon him for service performed in or out of Australia.

He could not even give such a decoration away. When once a man has had a medal conferred upon him he must live and die with it.

Senator Chataway - We will recommit the Bil].

Senator MILLEN - There is only one committal to which it is entitled. I wish, sir, that the Standing Orders were so framed that, when an absurd measure of this kind was placed before you, you could rule it out of order straight away.

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