Some events around Peace Day 19 July 1919, as reported in the Melbourne press over one week
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p. THEY OPPOSED CONSCRIPTION
The Woman Voter 7 September 1916
After keeping the public in suspense for 10 days, Mr Hughes has at last said the word “Conscription is to Come.” Or at least so Mr Hughes hopes. But perhaps his confidence is not so great as many people suppose.
The Woman Voter 14 September 1916
The Women’s Peace Army is strenuously opposing conscription. Members are busy with the Peace Negotiations Memorial, and many other useful activities. Public meetings are being held, and a Women’s Anti-Conscription Demonstration will be held on Yarra Bank on 17th inst.
The Woman Voter 30 September 1916
Miss Goldstein on Conscription - At a crowded meeting in the Athenaeum Hall on 21st September, Miss Vida Goldstein, President of the Women’s Peace Army, spoke against conscription with a force and power that moved her audience profoundly.
The Woman Voter 26 October 1916
80,000 PEOPLE ON YARRA BANK
No. 1 - No Conscription - If Parliament watches the interests of the people properly, Conscription can never be made law... the power to apply the Defence Act in that way exists only when there is danger of an invasion or an armed attack upon the Commonwealth.
No. 2 - Conscription and Women - All true women should oppose conscription because conscription makes wars.
No. 3 - Conscription Hands Us Over to the Armament Ring... The policy of huge armaments which made war inevitable, and rendered it so dreadful when it came, was dictated by an International Ring of Armament firms under the direction of prominent and all powerful statesmen and financiers who control parliaments, governments and the press.
No. 4 - Conscription and Crushing Germany - Mr Hughes says we must go on fighting until Germany is crushed, as, by so doing, we shall achieve permanent peace. By playing on this fear, Mr Hughes hopes to convince the peace loving people of Australia to sacrifice their young men on the battlefields of Europe...
To say that permanent peace will be secured by crushing Germany is to speak ignorantly and foolishly. Are the women and children to be exterminated? Why?
In June 1915, Germany had 6,493,000 soldiers or 10% of her total population on the field... If the Allies, by means of fearful sacrifice, destroy that 10%, the rest of the population, 90% of it, still remain. These are mainly women and children - more than one half are children. They represent a new Germany, and in a few years they will grow to be men and women, from whom a new generation of soldiers can be recruited.
Unless the women and children are exterminated, Germany will never be crushed. Moreover, Germany has allies...
q. THEY ARGUED FOR A CONSTRUCTIVE PEACE
The Woman Voter, 26th January 1916
The Honourable the Prime Minister of Australia, London
Dear Sir, We sent you herewith a copy of the terms which, in the opinion of the International Congress of Women, held at the Hague April-May ’15, and of the Women’s Political Association of Australia, should form the basis of a constructive and permanent peace...
With all courtesy and respect we consider it our plain duty to tell you that we, speaking for the great majority of the true democrats of our country... disassociate ourselves entirely from the cruel, relentless, undemocratic, anti-Christian policy of militarism... to
We ask you, Sir... to place it and our Peace Terms before the Imperial Conference...
The Woman Voter 30 March 1916
A densely-attended meeting was held under the auspices of the Women’s Peace Army on the Yarra Bank on the 26th inst...
It was said that the Peace Army wanted “peace at any price”. That was untrue; they wanted peace at a very high price - on terms that were definite and constructive.
The Woman Voter 17 January 1918
The Women’s Peace Army held a fine rally at the Yarra Bank the Sunday following the referendum... The following resolution was carried unanimously:
“That this mass meeting expresses deep gratitude for the result of the Conscription Referendum. Believing
The Woman Voter 30 August 1917
The strike situation grows worse daily, in spite of the evidence to the contrary in the papers, which would make us believe that the workers are a mere excrescence on the community, that it doesn’t
What Have We Done? Miss Cecilia John, with her phenomenal business ability, (made) far reaching proposals for establishing a Workers’ Commune at the Guild Hall (Swanston St.) ... working to change the system, otherwise the help given is only a disguised form of charity.
Miss John quickly organised a Registration Depot, Kitchens, Restaurant, Boot shops, Barbers’ Saloon, Recreation Hall, Grocer’s Shop, Baker’s Shop, with an army of volunteers... providing 60,000 food parcels; 30,000 meals; 6,500 haircuts; 30,000 items of clothing; 2,000 pairs of boots; 200 cases of confinement or illness cared for.
The Woman Voter 17 October 1917
Next Monday the WPA and Women’s Peace Army will hold a “Gift Night” at the Guild Hall, in aid of the families of the Wharf Labourer’s Union. Members and friends are invited to bring gifts of provisions of all kinds...
We ask for unlimited groceries, in particular - sugar, tea, self-raising flour, oatmeal, rice, sago, jam, candles, matches, soap, condensed milk, potatoes, onions, bread, or the money to purchase these goods and to meet the requirements of our boot-shop and barber’s
Dancing and games will follow.
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