Some events around Peace Day 19 July 1919, as reported in the Melbourne press over one week
PAGE 6 - back to page 5
DEMAND FOR A COMMISSION OF INQUIRY
At the meeting of the executive of the Port Melbourne branch of the Returned Sailors and Soldiers’ Imperial League last night the following motion was carried:
“That this branch of the executive of the league emphatically protests against the indiscriminate and vicious attack upon the returned soldiers by the police in the city on Peace night. Furthermore, this branch appeals to the State executive of the league to ask the Chief Secretary to appoint a commission of inquiry.”
RETURNED SOLDIERS’ ATTITUDE
The following statement regarding the attitude of the Returned Sailors and Soldiers’ Imperial League was made last night by Mr. Caldwell, acting president:
“We, as members of the R.S. and S.I.L.A., absolutely assert ourselves in favour of the maintenance of constituted law and order, but do not countenance unwarranted batoning of loyal and innocent citizens. We appeal to the returned soldier community to uphold the traditions for which it fought, and place full confidence in its executive officers, who are in a position to handle and govern the destinies of the returned men.”
APPEAL TO SOLDIERS.
“No good can come out of mob rule and wild, riotous demonstrations, and I should like every returned soldier to remember this” said the State Commandant (Brigadier-General Brand) last night. “Disturbances such as have occurred in the city during the last two days merely play into the hands of a certain section of the community that delights in stirring up strife.”
A contingent of 275 Victorians disembarked from the transport Durham at Port Melbourne early yesterday afternoon. The vessel arrived well ahead of time, and before 4 p.m. the whole of the troops had cleared the “finalisation” depot.
The Royal Automobile Club provided a plentiful supply of motor cars, and the returning troops were accorded a cordial welcome, both at the pier and during their progress through the streets.
The Age Wednesday 23 July 1919
THE MELBOURNE RIOTS.
Apology to Premier - Melbourne, Tuesday. Four broken windows in the State Public Offices were the only reminder to-day of the turbulent proceedings which took place at the eastern end of the city yesterday, when a large contingent of returned soldiers demanded the release of their former comrades, arrested on Saturday and Sunday nights... A number of men arrested in connection with the affair were fined at the City Court today.
SOLDIERS AS SPECIAL CONSTABLES
A proposal to form a special corps of police from the ranks of the returned soldiers has been submitted to State Ministers through Sir George Stewart. The Chief Secretary (Mr. Baird) stated last night that the proposal had not then reached a definite stage.
Yesterday 450 troops who had returned by the Rio Negro disembarked at Port Melbourne, and were conveyed in motor cars by members of the Automobile Club to the finalisation depot. There they went before the Medical Board, and their pension claims having been considered they were given leave, and joined their friends.
A number of the Camel Corps, who had come from Egypt, and some Imperial reservists and members of the Royal Air Force disembarked later from the Hungaria at Victoria Dock. A number of the men were accompanied by their wives. The men were given leave, and will report to the staff officer for returned soldiers this morning. Owing to the crowds on the streets on the ordinary route, the cars containing the returned men went direct to the depot.
Two Debarkations To-morrow
forward to page 7