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Australian 'universal service'

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gcle2003 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Australian 'universal service'
    Posted: 22 Aug 2010 at 11:13
I came across a reference in a book written in 1912 to there being a system of 'universal service' in Australia at the time, with the implication that it was compulsory in some way.
 
Anybody know whether there was some kind of conscription in Australia pre-1914?
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2010 at 15:05
So far as I am aware, conscription was not introduced until the Second World War.

The British Prime Minister in WWI suggested the implementation of conscription and allowing the death penalty to be applied to Australian soldiers serving in the war. In response, Prime Minister Billy Hughes tore up the telegram from his British counterpart in a fit of rage.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2010 at 15:40
The problem here is the the introduction of the term "universal" with the action of conscription. Australia did have a Conscription Act prior to World War II--or World War I for that matter--and the Australian Labor Party did enact Compulsory Military training for all males between the ages of 12 and 26 in 1911.
 
The book to read: John Barret. Falling In: Australians and Boy Conscription, 1911-1915. Sydney: Hale & Iremonger, 1979.
 
Now as for Billy Hughes and his "Damascus Moment" that turned him from Labor to Conservative overnight, do we need mention the War Precautions and Unlawful Associations Acts. Hughes was a firm proponent of conscription. The Defence Act of 1916 did contain the provision for mandatory conscription registration and such remained in force until suspended in 1929. Like it or not CXI, the "draft" is as confusing in Australian history as the present political "say what" of the latest election.
 
PS: And yes trying to explain the politics of Australia in terms of ideological constructs can be horribly confusing! Guess it is those Irish genes in the public  poolEvil Smile.


Edited by drgonzaga - 22 Aug 2010 at 15:46
Honi soit qui mal y pense
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2010 at 23:45
Dr G took my point.
 
Billy Hughes was in favour of conscription. He as leader of the Labor party fought a referendum on it against the unions. He lost, and along with a handful of ministers was thrown out of the party.
 
Billy Hughes is the only person to be Prime Minister of Australia with the support of three different parties. Pre WW2 politics in Aus was much better.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birddog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2011 at 07:52
Compulsory military training was first started in Australian in December 1909 for youths between the ages of 12 - 20. Men for the citizens force was recruited from these boys. Men who did not volounteer for service with the citizens force were kept as part of the reserve force till they reached the age of 26. They reserves reported to the annual camp for three days every year.
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