BELGIAN AND WOUNDED
I GENERAL MEETING LAST
A general meeting of the Belgian Re-
lief and Wounded "Soldiers' Fund was
held in the Town Hall last night. Mr. J. N. Jonas (secretary) announced that the chairman, Alderman G W. Car- roll (Mayor), was unable to be present. Mr. James Hebbard was, therefore elected to preside. The meeting was
The secretary read the correspond- ence. This included a letter, dated September 6, from the secretary of the National Belgian Relief Fund, acknowl- edging the receipt of cheque for £625, the fourth contribution from Broken
The following correspondence was re- ceived from the joint secretaries of the Australia Day movement for the relief of sick and wounded Australian soldiers
and sailors, and was addressed from the Premier's office, Sydney, under the
dates September 13 and 22 respectively:
In reply to the representations in your letter of August 31, we enclose a copy of a letter sent by the Premier to the Editor "Barrier Miner," on August 21. May we supplement the Information with the following: The amount of £37,000 mentioned has now been increased to £100,000 which is being applied mainly to meet the
requirements of our men in oversea hospitals, and this application is be- ing carried out without discrimina- tion as to the State of origin of the sick or wounded soldier. In re- gard to that portion of your letter relative to the system of decentralisa- tion of administration in Order that country claims may not be ovetlook- ed, we desire to lay stress on the
fact thai the requirements of country centres should be made known through the local branch of the Red Cross Society; we are assured by that organisation that prompt atten- tion is given to all such requisitions. In the event of there being no Red Cross branch in a country centre action would be taken by the Austra- lia Day committee if the fact were brought under notice.
May we, on behalf, of the Australia Day executive committee, inquire when a remittance in respect of the total collected by your district com- mittee in connection with the Aus- tralia Day movement may be ex- pected? We make this inquiry for two reasons: (1) Out of a desire to finalise the business associated with the collection; and (2) because the banks in which the funds are de- posited are allowing the committee 3 per cent. interest calculated on the balance on current account It is confidently hoped that you will, by means of early payment, aid us in speedily reaching the point of deter- mination of the organisation and col-
The letter to the Editor "Barrier Miner," was as follows (reproduced from "The Miner'' of August 24) :-
In reply to your telegram of yes- terday upon the subject of the allo- cation of the funds of Australia Day, I desire to afford you the following information:-The question raised which, in addition to your district, concerns the north-eastern, north- western (i.e., beyond Moree) and Riverina portions of New South Wales may be defined thus:-It has been decided to meet the peculiar difficulties of areas in respect of which the geographical and military descriptions do not coincide by mak- ing the whole of the funds raised by all the States a fund which will be available for wounded soldiers from all parts of Australia. Should, foi example, the fund raised in South Australia become depleted and the amount-prove insufficient to meet the calls made upon it not only by South Australian soldiers, but also by men from the Broken Hill dis- trict who have, for convenience oi other cause, enlisted in South Aus- tralia, the. New 'South Wales fund will be available for their benefit. That is to say, although the men ir whose interest you write are residenl New Sonth Welshmen, but' in a mili- tary sense classed as South Aus tralian soldiers, the fund raised bj New South Wales citizens will be ai much available for - their, benefit ii they are sick or wounded as it wil be for those who go forward as New South Wales military units. I wonlc add. that four advances already made from . the Australia Day -Fund, to tailing thirty-seven thousand potluck (£37,000), have been expended on i : -'rue Federal basis through Lad3
. Helen Munro Ferguson, president oi
the Australia Red Cross. -
The telegram referred to in the let ter from Mr. Holman was sent to him as chairman of the New South Wale* Australia Day. Fund, on August 20,anc
was as "follows :
Tour Parliament statement Jul] 20 that Australia Day .Committei decided all collections constitute om single fund is rejected by Soutl Australia, which claims Broken Hil district. Victoria agrees combini I collections, but makes undesirabL j restrictive provisions. Percy Hun
ter, . Sydney, .secretary,, after ibu] days' consideration is unable answei
I Broken Hill's circular question
~ Kindly advise, actual position, on: money waiting, great public oncer .tainty.. . ;
Another let«3r in last night's cor respondence was from the Bank o New South Wales notifying, that 3 pe: ! cent, interest was being allowed upai j the Australia Day Fund receipts wnicl
had been deposited in that. bank. Thi Í last letter was received, and the coi ' respondence from-the secretaries of th Australia Day Fund was discussed,
i The chairman said that if the furn ¡ was to be dealt with as Mr. Holma: ; indicated it would be best to ham
, over the local Australia. Day proceed
to the. New South Wales committee.
Mr. H. B. Lynch, said that the onl difficulty, was with .regard to the atti tude.. taken . up by. South Australis where it had* oeen decided that th money, collected in that State . shoul : be expended on behalf of those me
who had enlisted in South Australia The letter from the South Australia: committee announcing this decision added Mr. Lynch, showed clearly tha if Broken Hill men were to participât the committee expected to receive th Broken Hill money.
Mr. W. J. James said that whe the Australia Day idea was first mool ed no one Üreámed that it was goin to' be the big thing that it had provee Otherwise, from what he had learne when in Adelaide,- it was probable ths the resolution limiting the fund t State administration would not hav been* passed. Afterwards the Sout Australian committee resolved to a< here to its resolution instead of joh ing in with the proposed Feders scheme of administration;
The chairman and several othc speakers expressed the view that i the local Australia Day demonstratio
was - the outcome of a letter receive
from the-New South Wales cpmmittei they, were - morally bound to send tl moñov received to that latter bod v.
Mri H. M. Mullins said that M Holman's- letter to "The Barru Miner" was very unsatisfactory;
did not answer the query which w: as to whether the fund was to be fe< erated. No answer had yet been r ceived to that question..
One member said that they net have no fear as to how the Broki Hill men would share. According 1
the communication from South Aus- tralia the men enlisting in that State -atad Broken Hill men; had enlisted there-would .benefit by the South Australian fund, while, according^ to
the correspondence received from Syd- ney reside»* m New'South Wales , at the time of enlistment was sufficient | qualification for. a .share in the New ¡South Wales fund. .
Mr. Jonas .said that the first and subsequent letters received from Syd- ney were headed "For the relief of sick, and wounded Australian soldiers and sailors." There was. no doubt that the scheme was started with the best of intentions, but that.nothing definite was decided upon at the outset as to the lines, upon which it was to be administered. This was .not, apparent- ly, settled even how, and as, the local fund was earning 3 per cent, interest as well as the Sydney fund, there could be no harm in .waiting a little longer to see if a definite decision was
arrived at, n
Inspector . Miller stated that it was evident that in,, the first place it was meant that ' the Australia Day Fund should bè a Federal fund, and that it was collected as for Federal distribu- tion. Therefore, he failed to see how they could do otherwise than send the local collections to the New South Wales committee.
Mr. Mullins moved that the pre- vious resolution be adhered to; that the Premier be informed that the local fund was in the bank at 3 per cent., and , that it would remain so until a satisfactory reply was received toi the local committee's previous ques- tion as to whether the fund was to be administered' on a ' Federal basis. Mr. Mullins said he did not feel certain that it was a fair proceeding, or whe t,,e^lt J*"*8,* ri*at thing to hand over all the funds to the Bed X^os. Society, lhere were other societies. He could not see why the Australia Day Fund could not. be administered hy a federal committee "appointed for the purpose. He believed that joint action on the part of New South Wales and Victoria could bring sufficient pressure to bear oh the South Austra-
lian committee to persuade that body to modify its view. There was very little control . in the administration of the Bed Cross funds..
Mr. Hebbard : And in the meantime we are holding thé ;mdnèy and with- holding: the .comforts from the-soldiers.
Mr. Mullins said that advances could ,be made. As a matter of fact, men
in Broken Hill, were waiting now for comforts. . There was one man now who wanted a :cork leg. -
Mr. Lynch: You have an Empire League here. The president is present
Mr. Mullins said that he had spoken to the secretary cf the Empire League on the matter.. He-believed that a lot of the. .Bed Cross funds were ex- pended : on ^hospital requisites that should he provided by the Government, so that the money could-be spent more directly upon comforts for the. soldiers. The Government should be providing many of the tilings that Red Cross money- was . providing.
Mr. Hebbard j I'm' with you there. I'm .certainly with you there. The .Government should be doing a lot more in connection with thè._hospitals than it io doing. *
Mr. James referred to the "Anzac Day" celebration which, was to be held in Adelaide in connection with the Eight Hours' Day celebrations there the proceeds from which were to be utilised to swell the South Australian Wounded Soldiers' Fund. He was con- vinced that it would be impossible to get the South Australians to favor the federalisation of their fund. It was, in his opinion, hopeless to try to do so. Nevertheless, it was a fact that many of the people locally had subscribed to the fund believing, that it was to be federally administered.
Inspector Miller said that he coule - see no better course than to send thc money to "Sydney. -
Mr. Jonas said that there was to bf <a conference, between the Australia Day -and the Red Cross Society com mittees, and he thought^ that then would be no -harm in -writing .for th< result of the conference, and waiting ; until the reply was received. This ; could he done in conjunction with Mr.
; Mullins's motion. - '
! Mr. Lynch seconded^ Mr. Mullins'! j motion, whihe was carried, the sugges ¡ tion by Mr. jonas being also agreec
! The secretary announced that th«
total of the Australia Day Fund wai now £4944 18/6, and that money wai still coming in. Also, that the cash ii hand resoect to the Belgian Fnnc was £407 18/5. The total of £392-! had so far been sent from Broken Hil to tho epprptarv of the National Bel gian Relief Fund, Sydney.
Tho passing of severa! . accounts IOÎ payment terminated the meeting .