[Editor: This article by W. M. Hughes was published in Smith’s Weekly (Sydney, NSW), 30 August 1919.]
(Exclusive to “Smith’s Weekly”)
Kingoonya, S.A., Wednesday.
I return to Australia, fresh from the historic conference at Versailles, with a more vivid appreciation of what Australia means to the Empire, and the Empire to Australia, than ever before.
The Commonwealth has played a memorable part in the great struggle which is now happily over, and the whole world rings with praise of the prowess of our fighting forces.
The obligation on Australia in connection with this war, however, is not yet completed.
The people generally have supported former war loans in a wonderful way, and I appeal to them to carry on until our pledges to our boys are effectively redeemed.
The £25,000,000 which the Government is now asking is to complete the demobilisation charges, and to prosecute our repatriation policy.
This is Australia’s sacred duty.
It is clear to everyone that the money must be obtained. I hope it will be forthcoming voluntarily, but if not the Government will consider its responsibility to get it by the only other means, that is compulsorily.
The cheerful patriotism of the people will avoid this unpleasant necessity, and I confidently appeal to the people of all the States, individually and collectively, to lift their share of the burden.
W. M. Hughes
Smith’s Weekly (Sydney, NSW), 30 August 1919, p. 1
Commonwealth = the Commonwealth of Australia; the Australian nation, federated on 1 January 1901
Empire = in the context of early Australia, the British Empire
prosecute = carry out, continue, or proceed with an activity, task, or course of action, with the aim or intention of seeing it through to its completion (especially used regarding a war); carry on with, follow up, or pursue a course of action or task which has already been started, until it is completed; (archaic) carry on or engage in a practice, pursuit, or trade
[Editor: Changed “obtained..” to “obtained.” (removed one full stop).]